WESTON - The story of a missing Lewis County girl that has touched the hearts of many continues with the release of an age-progressed photo two years after the youth went missing.
Aliayah Lunsford, who went missing from her Weston home on Sept. 24, 2011, at the age of 3, would be 5-years-old today. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has released an age-progressed image depicting what Lunsford may look like if she were to be seen today.
On the two-year anniversary of Lunsford's disappearance, police were following a new lead, but could not discuss it with The Inter-Mountain in detail. Trained searchers and investigators have been on the case since her disappearance, and continue to follow leads in the girl's disappearance.
Aliayah Lunsford when shew was reported missing at 3-years-old.
An age progession photograph of Aliayah Lunsford showing how the youth may appear at now at 5-years-old.
Lunsford has brown hair and eyes, and was 3-feet tall and weighed 35 pounds, according to her missing person's profile. She was last seen wearing purple Dora the Explorer pajama bottoms, a pink princess sweatshirt, no shoes and was missing her top four front teeth.
Lena Lunsford, Aliayah's mother, allegedly discovered her missing in the early hours of Sept. 24, but waited two hours before notifying law enforcement officials while allegedly searching for the child. Lena Lunsford told authorities she checked on her daughter at 6:30 a.m. and returned at 9:30 a.m. to check on her once more, only to discover she was not there.
Sgt. Mike Posey of the Lewis County Sheriff's Department led an immediate search of the area for the missing girl. Since then, the West Virginia State Police, the FBI and several community and national volunteers have searched the West Fork River for traces of Aliayah's whereabouts.
Professional searches have sought clues in the woods near Aliayah's residence. Child abduction experts assisted in the case for days following the missing persons
Any information about the whereabouts of Lunsford could help officials get closer to bringing her to safety and/or prosecuting anyone who may have been involved with her disappearance. Although the investigation has continued on a local level, the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center still handles much of the investigation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of Lunsford or the arrest and conviction of anyone who is responsible for her disappearance.
Anyone who has information regarding her disappearance should contact the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center at 304-558-4831 or the Lewis County Sheriff's Office at 304-269-8245.