October 22, 2014

Elyria
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Man charged in toddler’s death

ELYRIA — An arrest has been made in connection with the death of 2-year-old Aaviana Payne, who succumbed to traumatic injuries to her head last month.

Luis Lopez, the boyfriend of Aaviana’s mother, Margot Young, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering Friday, according to police. Lopez, 25, is being held in Lorain County Jail without bond.

Police aren’t releasing what led them to Lopez or why he was charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is assigned when someone is killed because of criminal negligence.

“Specifics as to how the injuries were caused are being withheld at this time pending future interviews and investigation,” according to Elyria police spokesman Lt. Andy Eichenlaub in a released statement.

Lopez, whose only prior brush with the law was a conviction for misdemeanor assault through Elyria Municipal Court in 2004, for which he received community service, was living with Young, 26, and her two daughters, Aaviana and a 7-year-old, in a Rosewood Drive apartment the night of the toddler’s death.

A woman identifying herself as Aaviana’s aunt called 911 on Sept. 11 saying the girl was bleeding from the mouth. She was already in a leg cast from a broken leg and ankle, possibly from two separate prior injuries, according to County Coroner Stephen Evans, and family said she had broken her ankle after falling off a bed.

Aaviana did not have a heartbeat when she arrived at EMH Medical Center and did not respond to resuscitation efforts by medics. She had been increasingly lethargic for several days, according to Evans.

A spokeswoman for Lorain County Children Services said at the time the agency had already been investigating the family because of a prior incident and that the agency was working with law enforcement following the girl’s death.

Calls to Aaviana’s family were not returned Friday night.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or awright@chroniclet.com.