Who killed Aaliyah Rosa? Neighbours describe disturbing sounds
While investigators are providing few details of what happened to a seven-year-old in Langley, B.C., neighbours said they awoke to the sound of a scream the day she died.
Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in a new apartment building on 68 Avenue Sunday.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said emergency crews were called to a unit inside the rental building at about 9:30 p.m., and arrived to find the girl was deceased.
But neighbours said officers were called to the complex much earlier that day, when they called police to report the sounds of a woman screaming.
"It was about 3 a.m. ... It was just one long continuous scream," Danielle Marion told CTV News the day after the death was announced. She said another neighbour heard it too, and called for help.
"So the cops did come and search the area and didn't find anything at all."
It is not yet known whether that incident is connected in any way to what happened to Aaliyah. Less than seven hours later, first responders were back at the scene.
"There was a huge police presence, and along with ambulance and fire, and obviously none of us knew what was going on," said Tim Mulligan, who lives in the apartment complex.
They saw someone taken away on a stretcher.
A 36-year-old woman, who IHIT says was involved, is under medical care, but officials would not provide details of her condition or her connection to the case.
"The two were known to each other. I can't get into any more details than that," Cpl. Frank Jang said at a news conference Tuesday, announcing Aaliyah's death.
"No one has been charged at this point."
But authorities do believe the girl's death was a homicide. Jang would not provide details or further explanation, saying only that they'd arrived at the conclusion based on what they saw inside the suite and learned in the investigation's early days.
They said her death is believed to have been an isolated incident and that there is no risk to the public.
Meanwhile, officers are attempting to build a timeline of the events leading up to her death, and are asking anyone who saw Aaliyah at any point on Sunday to contact them.
Marion said police were canvassing neighbours for information earlier this week, showing them a photo of Aaliyah and asking about a tan-coloured Lexus.
"It was disturbing for this neighbourhood, and for it to happen so close to where you live… especially with kids in the building," she said.
"If they're not saying specifics it kind of keeps everyone on edge."
While few details are known about how she died, Aaliyah is being remembered online by a group of people calling themselves her caregivers as positive and energetic.
A post on a fundraising page says the girl was "full of love, joy and light… She was the highlight of all our days."
Those behind the posting says she was an only child and the love of her father's life. They're asking for donations to cover the costs of her funeral, and to allow her dad to take time off to grieve. The page, which was created Wednesday, had raised $1,370 of its $30,000 goal by Thursday afternoon.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber