Lena Lunsford Conaway, who was indicted last week by a Lewis County Grand Jury for alleged crimes in the 2011 death of her 3-year-old daughter, was arraigned in Lewis County Circuit Court on Friday, March 10.
One of the four felony counts she is charged with, alleges that she concealed the body of her 3-year-old daughter, Aliayah Paige Lunsford, in a wooded area after her death. Remains of the toddler have not yet been located, but investigators are still searching.
The indictment reads that sometime on Sept. 24, 2011,
Conaway drove Aliayah’s body away from the place of her death and hid her on land west of Weston, outside city limits.
Conaway was indicted on one count of murder of a child by parent, guardian or custodian or other person by refusal or failure to provide necessities, one count death of a child by a parent, guardian, custodian or other person by child abuse, one count child abuse resulting in injury and one count concealment of deceased human body, all felonies.
Circuit Court Judge Jacob Reger presided over Conaway’s first arraignment. Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney Christina Flanagan represented the state, and attorney Barbara Schamberger represented Conaway.
The indictment alleges that Conaway, between Sept. 23, 2011, and Sept. 24, 2011,
murdered Aliayah by allegedly not seeking medical care after striking the toddler in the head with a solid handheld object, which ultimately caused her death.
The indictment alleges under the count of child abuse that the abuse caused serious bodily injury to Aliayah.
Reger set Conaway’s pre-trial hearing for 9 a.m., June 7. Jury selection will be 9 a.m., June 12, and her trial slated for 9 a.m., June 19
Schamberger made a motion for discovery, and asked for the trial date to be set late into the next court term.
Reger said the trial date will stand as it is for now, but she can ask for a continuance at later court proceedings.
Conaway was remanded to custody at Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Aliayah Lunsford was reported missing Sept. 24, 2011. Investigators, search parties, and others concerned for her searched for months to no avail.
Officers have continued to investigate the case, and arrested Conaway in November of 2016. She was living in Florida at the time, but has been in jail since her most recent arrest. Her bond was set at $250,000 cash, and has remained unchanged.