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Baby was starved to death and 150 strangers came to her funeral

Reported by Liku Zelleke

There was shock and horror in Barrington, Chicago, when news reports emerged in January that a 7-month-old girl had been starved to death while still in the care of her own parents.

Last Thursday, Mya Edwards was laid to rest in a funeral ceremony that was attended by 150 people who had never even known her. Police officers, firefighters and members of the public mourned her and released a solitary balloon at the cemetery her held for her burial. Her uncle, Joaquin Edwards, was the only family member to attend.

After releasing the balloon, Detective Lori Allsteadt said, “It was great for me to be able to do. It kind of was like the release on this whole thing.”

Mya died in January after her parents, Markisha Jones, 19, and Gene Edwards, 22, replaced the infant’s formula with water, cereal and the occasional glob of baby food. The couple was living on welfare and authorities found that their food stamp benefits had lapsed, with no reason being given as why it hadn’t been renewed.

When the parents called 911 because their daughter was not breathing, officials said that both Mya and her twin, Mia, appeared to be “very skinny.”

Upon further investigation it was found that the couple kept both babies in the same crib, locked in “an unfinished basement that resembled a dungeon.” Mya was found to have died of malnutrition as a result of starvation. Her sister has since been nursed back to health and moved to a foster home.

In a eulogy given by Deacon Jim Pauwels, he said that those attending the funeral should not be thinking of the anger they felt at the baby’s death but should instead mourn her passing. He said, “When we’re confronted with a case of innocence suffering, a case of death coming where there should have been life and growth and promise, it’s not possible to not react.”

Meanwhile, the parents have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment stemming from the girl’s death. Jones and Edwards were first arrested on January 8 after paramedics arrived to find Mya lying lifeless on their dining room table. Their bails had been set at $250,000 each but they are still in jail awaiting trial.

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9 thoughts on “Baby was starved to death and 150 strangers came to her funeral

  1. kimberly

    The parents need to go to jail for murder!I hope and pray that their other kid or kids were taken away and they never see them again…this story is horrendous!

  2. Jeana

    This is so sad I can’t even comment to it except for the fact that my heart hurts knowing the baby was starving along with her twin. This is so sad. What has this world come to? We need to take better care of our children. People are so selfish it is unbelievable…….

  3. butch

    The mother couldn’t breast feed? How about a food bank? Better yet, get a damn job or just keep ur legs closed.

  4. Jacqueline

    This is awful!!!! There’re so many programs they could of applied for to get help. And only one family member showed up. Maybe the mother had anyone to teach her better. And they both need to serve time for this. It didn’t have to end this way.

  5. Lynda

    I feel bad for both parents and the death of their child. But……Where were the 150 strangers when the child needed food. Where was your concern when her food stamps were stopped. There are many people living in bad situations where they can’t get food or jobs. Look into what congress has done to the food stamp bill this past year. There are more people out there that aren’t eating or able to take care of their children. What do we do about that? In foster care they will give them enough to eat, cloth and take care of the child and have plenty left over for themselves. I know because I did foster care and was very surprised at the benefits they gave me.

  6. Michelle

    Words can’t describe how I feel. Definitely these parents need to be sentenced to life in prison. Where were family members and friends? How could the parents be so evil not to feed their child.
    Totally devastating. .


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