Xenia police investigating 12-year-old girl’s death

Xenia police are investigating the death of a 12-year-old girl with autism who coroner records say died in a filthy home with piles of trash inside.

Also, records obtained by the Dayton Daily News say that Xenia Community Schools staff contacted both the local police department and Greene County Children Services about the girl months before her death.

Xenia Police and Fire responded to the home in the 1500 block of Texas Drive on June 8 after a 911 caller said Aaliyah Artis, who had a birthday three days before, wasn’t breathing. Despite efforts to revive her from her mother and first responders, the girl died.

“Aaliyah enjoyed watching cartoons, coloring, riding her bike, playing outside and dancing with her sisters,” her obituary said.

The Greene County Coroner’s Office has not determined her cause of death, and no one’s been charged. A police report classifies the incident as “deceased person non-criminal.”

Attempts this week by the newspaper to reach Aaliyah’s family weren’t successful.

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A Greene County Coroner’s preliminary investigation report, which was reviewed by the Dayton Daily News through a public records request, documented the condition of the home. The report says the child had possible bed bug bites.

“The residence was found in filthy condition, with partly consumed food and trash in all rooms and evidence of insect infestation,” the report says.

Pictures in the report showed trash piled in rooms.

Placards saying the home was condemned and an uninhabitable structure are now posted on windows and the front door of the home. Also, a notice to leave the premises from the Greene Metropolitan Housing Authority was filed in Xenia Municipal Court.

“Grounds: Deplorable conditions of the property. Housekeeping, tenant caused,” the notice from the housing authority says.

A preliminary autopsy, also reviewed by the newspaper, said that the child was in a state of poor hygiene at the time of her autopsy, including having matted hair and dirty skin and nails. Her body also had multiple abrasions, bruises and bed bug bites, the report says.

The autopsy also noted the girl had a green discoloration of the tongue and green fluid around her nose and mouth. The preliminary autopsy also cited bilateral pleural effusion, sometimes referred to as “water on the lungs” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

There was no other evidence of significant injury.

The investigator’s report says the mother told police she had given Aaliyah three packets of Children’s Tylenol powder several hours earlier because she complained of back pain. And when she tried to wake her, the girl was unresponsive.

The preliminary autopsy says a toxicology test is pending.

Xenia Police Captain Steve Lane told the Dayton Daily News that there is an open investigation in Aaliyah’s death and the department would not answer questions until after its complete. A dispatch log created in response to the 911 call indicates a search warrant was executed by detectives hours after the original call.

That search warrant, filed in Xenia Municipal Court, is sealed and cannot be obtained.

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The Dayton Daily News obtained other records that show Xenia Community Schools staff called Xenia police multiple times for welfare checks to the Texas Drive home prior to the girl’s death.

One was made in 2018, when a man called police asking that they check on Aaliyah’s sister. The incident report says the “juvenile checks OK.” The next one was made on Jan. 28, 2020, when a school secretary called to ask the police to do a welfare check on Aaliyah.

“Special needs student - in 4th grade multi-handicap program,” the report says. “Hasn’t been to school since 01/21 - School hasn’t heard from mom.”

The report says officers spoke with the mom and the daughter was fine.

“She missed the bus. Conditions were fine,” the narrative says.

The most recent one was called in on Jan. 12 when Tecumseh Elementary Principal Cathryn Rice asked for a welfare check on Aaliyah, according to police documents. Rice said Aaliyah was engaged in remote learning and a teacher hadn’t been able to see her since September.

“Yesterday she reached out to the parent to let her know that she was going to visit and she was hopeful to see the student again, but she arrived and the curtains were drawn, the doors were locked and it just appeared no one was home again,” Rice said. “And that has been pretty consistent.”

The principal also said that in between, they filed reports to children’s services.

Beth Rubin, director of the Greene County Department of Job & Family Services, said in an email that they were unable to discuss children services case information, which is protected by law.

“When a child death occurs and there are questions regarding the cause, Children Services may become involved in assisting the ongoing investigation and ensuring safety and supportive services are in place for other household members,” Rubin said. “We work closely as a team with law enforcement, Michael’s House Child Advocacy Center, medical professionals and other community providers. We also participate in the county’s Child Fatality Review process to help identify any information, trends, or concerns that could help the community prevent future child fatalities.”

Xenia Community Schools spokeswoman Kristy Creel said that privacy laws prevents the district from explaining what specific actions were taken, but did say: ”Our staff made tremendous efforts to secure assistance for Aaliyah and her family, and that she will be deeply missed.”

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