The Ely Times

Ely resident Colon Jackson was arrested last Friday, Aug. 23, on one count of murder in the case involving the death of 3-year-old Alyahna Bliss,

Jackson was transported to the Washoe County Jail. He appeared before a federal justice magistrate, and stated he was not guilty. His detention hearing will be held Thursday, Aug. 29, before a federal magistrate judge in Reno. 

The White Pine County Sheriff’s Office released a statement earlier this week that details information leading up to the investigation and arrest of Jackson.  

On Jan. 9, Bliss was taken to the Emergency Room at the William Bee Ririe Hospital and was reportedly unresponsive. 

Bliss was flown to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Utah. The Sheriff’s Office was later informed that the child had died. The Sheriff’s Office along with Ely Tribal Police contacted the FBI due to the suspicious circumstances that surrounded the child’s death. 

It was determined the child had sustained injuries related to her death that had occurred on the Ely Shoshone Indian Reservation, Indian Country of the United States, making the FBI responsible for the investigation.

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, the U.S. Attorney’s office in conjunction with the FBI held a news conference in Las Vegas.  

 U.S. Attorney Nick Trutanich said, “Our native communities in Nevada are full of mothers, daughters, sisters and friends, all of whom live meaningful life.  Too often those lives are terrorized by violent crime, or worse yet, cut short.  

“Our office is committed to working closely with local law enforcement tribal police, FBI to fully investigate and prosecute violent crime on reservations here in Nevada.” 

It was reported that violent crime on tribal land in Nevada has reached a fever pitch throughout the U.S., including Nevada. Eighty five percent of the Department of Justices Investigations that are open have been currently related to violent crime.  

Trutanich said, “Murder is the third leading cause of indigenous women, in the past year our office has prosecuted four separate homicide offenses against women on Nevada’s Native American reservations.” 

The U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI reported they will continue to work collaboratively with tribal police and local police departments to ensure that victims of violent crime are not invisible, stating that violence against women and children are significant priorities for all of us.  

“Missing women need to be found, and murdered women need their killers brought to justice,” Trutanich said. “Behind me is an indictment that late last week the grand jury returned.  It is United States against Jackson.  

“The indictment that our office prepared alleges that in January of this year, Colon Jackson killed a 3-year-old girl, on native American land in violation of federal law. Maybe you have heard of this case, if you haven’t to protect the victim’s rights, I am going to refer today as AB.  

“Her murder occurred on Ely Shoshone, in White Pine County and the maximum penalty for the child is life imprisonment. Of course, Mr. Jackson is innocent until proven guilty by a jury in court, but yesterday he started his engagement with the criminal justice system when he made his first federal court appearance.  

“A lead prosecutor informed the court that three year AB died following significant head injury. Blunt force trauma cause by Mr. Jackson. The autopsy showed that the toddler had a spinal fracture, and injuries to her genetilia and buttocks.  

“The governments position that the blunt force head trauma caused the victim to be unresponsive almost immediately, that the defendant Colon Jackson was the only person who could have committed and inflicted those injuries.”

Jackson has a history of domestic violence, including history of abuse towards Bliss, according to records. 

FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the Las Vegas Office explained how this investigation was an example of the surge of resources they have coordinated to the northern Nevada area to combat violent crime.  

“Three year old AB’s death touches the heart of every American, and every Nevadan,” he said.

He thanked the collaborative effort between law enforcement entities across the state.  He said, “Working together with our partnerships we are going to ensure that the violent crime prevention is addressed and those folks involving themselves in this type of violent crime will be brought to justice, appropriately, swiftly and accurately.

The White Pine County Sheriff’s Office worked in conjunction with the FBI providing them assistance with the investigation.   

The mother of the child was identified as Maria G. Bliss of Ely. On Jan. 11, Maria G. Bliss was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office for child neglect and obstructing a police officer. 

She remained in custody until April where she pled guilty to child abuse and neglect. 

Part of Bliss’  plea deal was to be a credible witness during the prosecution of Jackson. She is scheduled for sentencing on Sept, 23, at 9:30 a.m. at the White Pine County Courthouse. 

The investigation into the death of Alyanha Bliss continued and evidence obtained led to an arrest warrant for Jackson, 28. 

Jackson was identified as the boyfriend of Maria G. Bliss and they resided together on the Ely Shoshone Indian Reservation.  The investigation into this case continues and the Sheriff’s Office will continue to work closely with the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office, providing them assistance in this investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Penelope Brady and Sue Fahami are prosecuting the case.  

Father Matt Bliss was reached for comment. He had no idea of the spinal fracture that occurred on his daughter Alyahna, until the press conference detailed the information about the extent of injuries sustained. 

“I am in complete shock,” he said. “It’s so upsetting, unsettling, I have no words.”