A 22-year-old father in California is behind bars this week after his 1-year-old daughter was found dead in the Los Angeles River. Jayveyon Louis Burley was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with one count of murder and one count of child endangerment in the death of Leilani Dream Burley, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to a report from Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC-TV, a woman later identified as Burley’s mother on Sunday evening called 911 at approximately 10:45 p.m. to report a possible missing child. She reportedly told the emergency dispatcher that the father, Burley, went to Long Beach to pick up his two children from their mother and bring them to the residence he shared with his mother in Inglewood. When he arrived home, however, he was reportedly only accompanied by one child.
Officers with the Inglewood Police Department (IPD) responded to the residence, located in the 300 block of N. Market Street where they made contact with the victim’s grandmother and began searching for the missing child.
The IPD, working alongside officers with the Long Beach Police Department, discovered the little girl’s remains in the area shallow water just below the Ocean Boulevard Bridge in the LA River, according to a report from San Diego Fox affiliate KSWB-TV.
While authorities have not released details regarding the manner in which they believe Burley killed his daughter, Lynisha Hull, the child’s mother, provided additional information about the circumstances of Leilani’s death in an interview with KABC. Hull said that Burley appeared upset when he picked up their children, but that his behavior wasn’t anything she found concerning.
“He came to my home to pick up my kids,” an emotional Hull said through tears. “He was angry at the time but normal though. He was normal. He didn’t look like he was panicked or anything at all.”
She reportedly said that Burley failed to put the 1-year-old in her carseat when loading the kids into the car. Hull reportedly said she then strapped the child into her carseat and watched as Burley drove off “erratically,” stopping and starting the vehicle several times.
Hull further claimed that her daughter’s body was found in the LA River because Burley tossed her off of a bridge.
“My daughter was murdered by her father. He threw her off the bridge,” Hull told the station. “I don’t understand. Why would he do this to my daughter? I don’t understand. How can a father do this to their own child?”
Hull’s 3-year-old son was unharmed. The distraught mother reportedly said that the little boy keeps asking where his sister is, a question she said she has no answer for.
Inglewood PD urged anyone with information relevant to the case to contact investigators at 310-412-5246.
Burley is no stranger to run-ins with the law. He was arrested in 2018 after he and two accomplices allegedly robbed a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver at gunpoint, according to a report from the Daily Press.
“Burley was found in possession of the weapon used in the commission of the crime, a black mask and other evidence pertinent to the crime,” police said at the time of his arrest. Police also believe Burley was responsible for several other similar robberies.
[Images via San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept./KABC screengrab]
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