Maliyah was initially at the center of an Amber Alert after her mother said she left the toddler alone on the playground outside of their apartment for a couple of minutes while she cooked breakfast the morning of Aug. 22.
Tuesday, Houston police announced they arrested Sahara Ervin, 20, and Travion Thompson, 21, for their alleged roles in the girl's death. They are charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence, namely Maliyah's body, according to Houston police.
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Overnight, a judge set bond for Maliyah's mother and her boyfriend. Thompson's bonds total $150,000 and Ervin's total $175,000.
Thompson appeared in court overnight Tuesday, but Ervin did not, citing medical issues. Both are expected back in court Wednesday and Thursday.
Two months ago, they spoke to reporters and cried in front of cameras.
"Everyone looking stupid and looking for the baby when they knew what happened to the baby," said Stella, a neighbor, who was pleased to learn of the arrests.
According to court records, the autopsy showed Maliyah had a broken left forearm and extensive superficial blunt force trauma in the form of looped-pattern bruising all over her body. The medical examiner believes she was beaten with either an extension cord-like object or a hanger-like object.
The police investigation found Maliyah was last seen alive on security video at 12:40 a.m. on Aug. 20.
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Court records say Thompson confessed and pointed a finger at the mother. He told police she beat her daughter with a hair brush on Aug. 20 because she was crying and would not go to sleep. Records say they then put her in a broom closet, naked. When they woke up on Aug. 21, Maliyah was dead.
Thompson told police they disposed of her body in a storm drain at their apartment complex on Aug. 22, the same day they reported her missing. She was found in Brays Bayou on Aug. 23.
Much of the search centered around their complex on Wilcrest in southwest Houston. Neighbors have taken the case personally in Maliyah's name.
"That little girl didn't deserve this. She was a sweetheart," added Stella. "They were supposed to be her protectors."
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