The Ely Times

It has been seven months, and several in the community are still grieving the loss of Alyahna Bliss. Several people, children included, showed up Tuesday evening to hold a Candlelight Vigil for Alyahna.  

The date was very symbolic to many, making it seven months to the day that Bliss died. Some held posters and some held candles as cars and semi’s drove past sounding their horns in support.  

The case has been under investigation since January. The mother, Maria Bliss was arrested two days after Alyana’s death, and was charged with child neglect and obstructing a peace officer.  

For several months, Maria remained in custody, until she was released in the middle of April. In a recent news story, it was reported that during the court appearance, District Court Judge, Steve Dobrescu explained to Maria, “in exchange for your plea of guilty, the state is going to do certain things for you. They will move to dismiss all of the charges, without any prejudice in this case, they will not file further charges arising on facts related to this incident now known by the DA.”  

It was also noted that the state would recommend probation.  

The plea also stated that Maria would be required to testify truthfully in the preliminary, trial, and any other hearings requiring her testimony in the prosecution of Colon Jackson.

Since Maria’s release, no other arrests have been made. This has left the community frustrated and doubting the justice system.  

The FBI and Department of Justice were contacted for an update, and both replied with the same, general statement, “This is an ongoing investigation and we cannot comment,” said Sandra Breault, public affairs officer with the FBI. 

Dany Turner is one local who expressed his frustration during the Candlelight Vigil. “I think that justice needs to be served, I think the family deserves closure, it’s time for action to be taken for this little girl who lost her life, and the person who did this needs to be brought to justice, it’s taken way to long.”

Michelle Green said, “I write Justice for Alyana on the windows of my car, when it rains, I replace it, it could have been one of my grandbabies.” 

A young couple that was in attendance at the vigil wanted to remain anonymous, but commented on how much the community has done to keep this issue in the light. “We are all still waiting for justice, even still seven months later, and we have this many people that still care, it gives me chills. Really thankful for the community.” 

Maria’s sentencing date is set for Aug. 12.