GRAPHIC: New details describe moments before Nevaeh Allen’s death
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB/Gray News) – More details have been released surrounding the death of 2-year-old Nevaeh Allen whose body was found in Mississippi on Sunday, Sept. 26 after she was reported missing on Friday, Sept. 24.
According to arrest information obtained by WAFB, Phillip Gardner told authorities Nevaeh’s mother, Lanaya Cardwell, was getting ready for work when the little girl grabbed her mom’s contact lenses.
Cardwell became upset and punched the little girl with a closed fist in the stomach causing her to fall and hit her head on a cabinet.
According to reports, Gardner, who is Cardwell’s boyfriend, said she took Nevaeh into another room and described hearing what sounded to be two adults fighting.
Gardner saw Nevaeh crying and noticed a bruise on her forehead.
He then took Cardwell to work and returned home with the little girl.
Nevaeh refused to eat and complained of stomach pain to Gardner. Later, the toddler laid down on the couch and was found unresponsive.
According to reports, Gardner said he attempted to give Nevaeh CPR, but she was cold and lifeless. He did admit to not calling 911 and leaving his cell phone at home so police could not track it.
Gardner, then went on to say that he put Nevaeh’s remains in a suitcase, loaded her into his car and drove to Mississippi to dispose of her body. He then disposed of the suitcase and Nevaeh’s clothing in a trashcan.
Police said Gardner confessed to making a false missing person report.
Cardwell claimed she left Nevaeh in her boyfriend’s care while she went to work. She claimed Gardner later reported he could not locate the girl and told the media she had no idea where her daughter could be.
According to authorities, the forensic pathologist stated that while the victim had severe trauma causing brain swelling, it cannot be ruled out that the victim was still alive at the time that Gardner placed her in the suitcase and suffocated to death prior to succumbing to the other injuries.
WAFB reports Cardwell and Gardner are both charged with second-degree murder in connection to Nevaeh’s death.
Cardwell is currently pregnant with another child who she says Gardner is the father of.
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