Details of Disappearance Kaliyah was last seen in Cleveland, Ohio. The last time anyone other than her mother saw her was at her fourth birthday party on April 21.
Her mother, India Parker, gave several conflicting reports to various people who asked about Kaliyah, sometimes claiming she was with relatives or in foster care, or that she had been killed after a bookcase fell on her. A photo of India is posted with this case summary.
The father of one of India's other children got suspicious of India's story and in December 2011, five years after Kaliyah was last seen, he reported her missing. The police could find no record of the child's supposed death.
India told the police she'd found Kaliyah mysteriously dead in her bed one morning in 2006. She admitted she hadn't reported the death and continued to collect Kaliyah's Social Security benefits for years. She said she left her daughter's body in her bed for a week, then put it in a garbage bag and took it outside for curbside trash pickup.
India had been charged with child endangerment in 2000, but the charge was dropped after she agreed to take parenting classes.
When Kaliyah was born in 2001, India wasn't allowed to take the baby home. Kaliyah's grandmothers as well as a foster mother raised the child for the next two years while India completed a parenting plan. She got custody of her daughter in 2003 and they were monitored for another six months before Children and Family Services closed the file for the family.
In April 2012, India pleaded guilty to evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse and was sentenced to the maximum term of three years in prison. The judge stated he didn't believe her statement that she'd taken Kaliyah's body out with the trash and asked her, at sentencing, whether her daughter was alive.
India repeated she'd put the body in the trash and apologized for her "lapse in judgement." She also pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of government property in September 2013 and sentenced to sixteen months in prison. She admitted she'd collected $41,000 in benefits for Kaliyah after her daughter died.
Authorities are continuing to investigate Kaliyah's presumed death, but stated they may never find her body and may never be certain how she died.
- Cleveland Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 23, 2013; details of disappearance updated.