Aaliyah Rosa was a lively, lovable seven-year-old girl who had a bright future ahead of her. She loved dancing, singing, and playing with her friends. She was confident and headstrong, and had a smile that could light up a room.
But on July 22, 2018, Aaliyah’s life was cut short in a horrific way. She was found dead on the bathroom floor of her mother’s apartment in Langley, B.C., wearing shorts and wrapped in a pink bathrobe. Her mother, Kerryann Lewis, was charged with second-degree murder in her death.
The case shocked and saddened the community, and raised many questions about what led to this tragic outcome. How did Aaliyah die? What was the motive behind her mother’s actions? And what could have been done to prevent this tragedy?
According to the court documents, Aaliyah had two depressants in her system at the time of death: diphenhydramine and lorazepam. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that is commonly used to treat allergies, colds, and insomnia. Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures.
The Crown prosecutor argued that Lewis intentionally drugged and drowned her daughter in the bathtub, and then attempted to kill herself by overdosing on the same drugs and lying face down in the water. The defence lawyer, however, suggested that Aaliyah may have accidentally fallen into the tub after taking the drugs, and that Lewis was too impaired to realize what had happened.
The judge, Justice Martha Devlin, found Lewis not guilty of first-degree murder, saying that the evidence was not conclusive in establishing her guilt. She said that there were “alternative scenarios” that could not be ruled out, and that it was not clear whether Aaliyah was alive or dead when Lewis found her on the bathroom floor.
The motive behind Lewis’s actions remains unclear, but there were some clues that suggested she was struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse, and personal problems.
Lewis had a history of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, according to her medical records. She had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, but had stopped taking her medication. She had been using cannabis, alcohol, and prescription drugs to cope with her stress.
Lewis was also going through a difficult custody battle with Aaliyah’s father, Stephen Rosa, who had been granted primary care of their daughter. Lewis was allowed to have unsupervised visits with Aaliyah, but had to return her to Rosa by 5 p.m. on the day of her death. Lewis had expressed resentment and anger towards Rosa, and had accused him of being abusive and controlling.
Lewis had also been facing financial troubles, as she had lost her job as a nurse and was relying on social assistance. She had been evicted from her previous apartment and was living in a subsidized housing complex. She had few friends and family members to support her, and felt isolated and hopeless.
The case of Aaliyah Rosa raises the issue of how to prevent such tragedies from happening, and how to better support parents and children who are in crisis.
Some experts have suggested that there is a need for more mental health services, especially for mothers who are dealing with postpartum depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, or other challenges. They have also called for more awareness and education about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and how to seek help.
Some advocates have also argued that there is a need for more child protection services, especially for children who are at risk of abuse or neglect. They have also called for more oversight and monitoring of custody arrangements, and more intervention and support for families who are in conflict.
Some people have also suggested that there is a need for more community involvement and social support, especially for parents and children who are isolated or marginalized. They have also called for more compassion and empathy for those who are suffering, and more respect and dignity for those who have lost their lives.
The death of Aaliyah Rosa was a tragic case that shocked the community and left many unanswered questions. It was also a case that highlighted the need for more awareness, support, and prevention for parents and children who are in crisis.
Aaliyah Rosa was a beautiful, vibrant, and innocent child who deserved a better life. She was not just a victim, but a person who had dreams, hopes, and potential. She was loved by many, and will be remembered by many.
She wasn’t going to be someone. She already was someone.