Florida City Mother Speaks Out After Daughter Mariah Found in Ditch

Mother Shaneka says she doesn't place blame on her boyfriend who was watching her daughter when she was first reported missing.

As loved ones kept vigil at a memorial for an infant found in a Florida city ditch Saturday, the girl's mother mourned at home, trying to make sense of the child's death.

"It's very hard," mother Shaneka said. "I miss her so much. It's like I'm lost. I don't know."

The grieving mother said she hasn't been able to eat or sleep following the loss of her daughter.

"It still seems so unreal, like she was just here," Shaneka said.

Mariah Naveah Johnson, just shy of her second birthday, was reported missing early Saturday afternoon. Shaneka said she was seeing a therapist while her boyfriend took care of her children. Her boyfriend went to her in a panic later in the day, saying the girl had gone missing, Shaneka said.

Neighbors searched for the infant, covering several blocks in the Florida City neighborhood. A couple of hours later, she was found dead in a hole, about two blocks away from the home.

While many in the neighborhood are blaming her boyfriend for the death, Shaneka said it's possible her daughter walked off and fell into the hole.

"I could never think he would do nothing like that, because he loves my kids, every last one of them," Shankea said.

The mother said she can't stay at her own home because everything reminds her of her daughter.

"Every time I close my eyes her face is like right there," she said. "She didn't deserve this. She didn't at all."

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