Funeral services held, as GBI investigates murder - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Funeral services held, as GBI investigates murder

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  A two year old Baconton girl was laid to rest as the GBI continues to investigate her murder.

Two year old Lila Lyons was found dead in a Lee County home last Friday. Tuesday, the GBI released new details on what happened to her. The GBI is still questioning others who lived inside the home where the child was staying the night she died. They say if anyone is found to have contributed to the child's death, they'll be charged accordingly.

Coworkers of Thomas Darling can't believe their manager at Wing Dixie and Deli at the Albany Mall is charged with murder.

"I was very shocked," said Jessica Engeron, a Wing Dixie Co-worker.

Jessica Engeron says little Lila and her sister would often stop by with their mother.

"Candice would bring them up to the shop to see Thomas and they were jolly kids," said Engeron.

Last Thursday night, Lila's mother dropped her off to spend the night with Darling. He rented a room at this house on Knollwood Drive. The GBI says others were there that night.

"We know that at least one person may have heard the child crying early during the morning hours on Friday," said GBI-Americus Assistant Special Agent in Charge Trebor Randle.

While emergency responders were told she fell off a bed, the autopsy results showed a lacerated liver which isn't consistent with a fall.

"Basically what you would find in this type of injury is that there had to be severe force or impact to cause this type of injury to the liver so it wouldn't have been just a bump or a fall or something like that it would have to be something with substantial force behind it," said Randle.

They're still waiting on toxicology results but believe the child may have been dead when her mother arrived to pick her up.

"The mother actually called 911 upon arriving at the home to pick up her daughter and she immediately realized something was wrong, the child was unresponsive," said Randle.

Final autopsy results could take more than a month to complete. Authorities say because the mother has three other children, DFCS is investigating as well.

Investigators say more charges may be filed once they get the full autopsy results.


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