Loved ones say final goodbyes to toddler

A little girl who endured abuse and died violently was laid to rest on Wednesday. The family of 3-year-old Mayouna Smith say they can only speculate who is to blame for her death.

Mayouna’s great aunt Paulette Chapman said, “We thank God for one thing: she’s with the Lord; she’s not in any more pain. And that’s good news to know, but we love her dearly and she will always be in our hearts.”

Amherst Police said the toddler was killed by blunt force trauma to her abdomen on January 18th. An autopsy revealed she also suffered through physical and sexual abuse before her violent death.

“It’s hard when a person takes advantage of an innocent child that can’t defend themselves,” Chapman said.

All investigators will confirm is that Mayouna’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend were in her Amherst apartment that Saturday. One of them had called police.

Neither was arrested and police aren’t naming either as suspects right now.

Mayouna’s mother sat in front during the memorial and her father wore a shirt with a picture of his daughter. A family, well aware, that they are under scrutiny.

Chapman said, “She’s greatly loved, a great bond with her mother and she loved her greatly.”

But as her grandfather said during the service, the family is standing by the little girl’s mother and now turning to finding evidence to solidify a case against the person responsible.

“We have some clues and indications but I don’t want to speak on them until this is final,” Chapman said. “Justice will be brought, that’s what we are looking for.”

Amherst Police are still asking for the public’s help. Each time we ask for an update, we have been told they are still working on the case and refuse to release details. 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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