FLORIDA CITY (CBSMiami) — The family of Mariah Johnson can hardly believe she’s gone. The two-year-old was discovered not breathing in a hole in the ground in her Florida City neighborhood Saturday.
“The last words she said to me was ‘I love you grandma’ and gave me a big kiss and I hugged her and she left not knowing that would be the last time I’d see her alive,” said the child’s great-grandmother Geanie Dixon.
That was Friday, a day before the toddler’s death.
“She was a beautiful little girl and I don’t know how this happened,” said Eddie Dixon, the girl’s grandfather.
The girl’s family members said she was with her mother’s boyfriend when she somehow disappeared. After she was reported missing, family, friends and police searched the neighborhood.
A couple hours later, the family says Mariah’s mom’s boyfriend found the child unresponsive.
Miami-Dade homicide detectives are investigating the child’s death.
Mariah died just weeks before her second birthday.
“Tore me apart man,” Eddie Dixon said.
“Here’s a child who had not a chance in life two-years-old not even two-years-old; she will never have the opportunity to have a child she will never have an opportunity to get married so we want justice,” added Louis Dye, the girl’s great-uncle.
It’s not clear yet how Mariah died or how she ended up in that hole in the ground. Cell phone video captured the scene after police arrived, but Mariah’s family wants to know what happened in the moments before the child was found. And they’re asking anyone with information to come forward.
“I need answers,” said Dixon.
“Silence is not going to work here, we want justice we want the truth and believe me the truth will come out,” added Dye.
As they wait for answers, Mariah’s close-knit family clings to faith and memories of the girl.
“I know she’s with Jesus and I’m not worried about her and I just thank God I had the chance with her Friday,” said Geanie Dixon.