Little Janiyah Russell was just 5 years old when she took her last breath at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center on the morning of September 11th, 2019. The reason for such a pre-mature death? The little girl’s father was dating a woman, aged 23, who now faces a murder charge for Janiyah’s demise. Experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys say that crimes involving children are some of the hardest to defend against.
Sheyhuan Miller was arrested last week on suspicion of the murder of Janiyah – whose friends and relatives say referred to Sheyhuan as “mom.”
How Did The Tragedy Happen?
The laceration to Janiyah Russell’s liver was “so significant” that the doctor who performed her autopsy told Metro police officers that Janiyah could not have survived the injury for more than a few, short minutes. In addition to the lacerated liver, police have also reported that Janiyah had bruising around both her eyes, on her forehead, lips, neck, arms, legs, and stomach.
Miller claims that on September 10th Janiyah had gotten into a “scuffle” with some children from the neighborhood in which they live: The Suites, an extended-stay apartment complex near Boulder Highway and Twain. According to Miller, that’s where the marks and bruises came from.
Janiyah’s father would later tell police that on the day of September 10th, he did not notice any “signs of [Janiyah] being injured.” According to a police report, Janiyah’s father said that “Janiyah ate some chicken nuggets from Popeye’s, played with her toys and was put down to sleep on the couch.”
The following morning, while Janiyah’s father was donating blood at a local blood bank, Miller made a telephone call to 911 to report that after she’d given a bath to Janiyah, the little girl was unresponsive. At that point, Janiyah was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Homicide Ruling Issued After Autopsy
It wasn’t until the autopsy was performed that doctors and detectives would rule the case a homicide by child abuse.
The little girl’s extended family beg to know what happened. They acknowledge that Sheyhuan was the only mom that Janiyah knew, and they can’t fathom what lead Sheyhuan to murder the little girl.
A Sad Story With a Tragic Ending
Janiyah’s great-aunt, Tesha Anderson, says of Miller, “We don’t hate her, but we want justice for our Janiyah.” She scrolled through her phone and pulled up an image of Janiyah, smiling next to a pink, stuffed unicorn. “She was always happy and smiling, and she looks just like her dad. They’re like twins.”
Janiyah’s father had recently regained custody of Janiyah, who had been in and out of foster care homes while under the care of her birth mom in another state.
Miller has been charged with one count of murder and one count of child abuse resulting in substantial bodily harm. She is in custody in the Clark County Detention Center, held on a $250K bail.