Family awaits progress after 3-year-old murdered

A grieving family is still searching for justice after someone murdered a 3-year-old girl in Amherst.

Mayouna Smith will be laid to rest Wednesday morning and her family wants to make sure the search for her killer isn’t buried with her. The little girl, known to her family as “May May,” was killed January 18 from blunt force trauma to her abdomen. Her autopsy also revealed past physical and sexual abuse.

Her family members that chose to talk to News 4 did not want their faces shown and asked we change their voices. They said in all the times they saw the toddler, they never saw signs of abuse.

“You’ve got a little girl would come into a room and just light it up,” said her family member. “When she came over here she did everything that normal kids do, she laughed, she ran, she played.”

The 3-year-old’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend were the only ones with Mayouna when she died. Family members say her mother was balancing two children, work and school.

Her family member said, “I knew her mother for four years, excellent mother, excellent mother and I know that people might judge her right now and say she knew and in my heart I knew she didn’t.”

But more than a week after the little girl’s death there are still no suspects. And as her family prepares to say goodbye and bury her, there’s growing frustration with the investigation.

“You know my feeling? After we bury her tomorrow this is going to be closed and put on the shelf as another homicide,” her family member said. “We don’t want to see this happen to someone else, this was a precious angel that was taken from us and we want to know why and we want justice.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says Child Protective Services never investigated any abuse within Mayouna’s family before her death, but it’s still unclear whether CPS had any other prior involvement with her family. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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