A Tahlequah woman has been charged with murder in the 1st Degree, Child Abuse after the death of a 2-year-old girl, early December.
The girl's foster mother, 47-year-old Delila Pacheco, is accused of killing Alysa Horney. Pacheco is being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center without bond.
She was the foster mother but also a blood relative of Alysa. The girl's mother spoke only with FOX23 about the shock of losing her younger daughter.
"I don't know how to explain in a way that her 2-year-old sister is gone and she's not going to get to play with her anymore," said Holly Horney, referring to her older daughter.
Horney said she chose her cousin, Pacheco, to keep her daughter in August. She thought Pacheco would be a good fit as a family-related foster mom.
"She seemed outgoing, she seemed good with the kids at first -- and when this happened they found bruises on her body, bruises on her head underneath her hair," said Horney.
Investigators said Alysa also suffered from internal bleeding that led to her death.
"It's horrible, it's unbearable and I don't want to have to plan my baby's funeral, because the babies are supposed to bury the parents. Parents shouldn't have to bury their child," Holly Horney said.
She and her family are planning a funeral.
"She'll never go to school, never go to prom, never get married, never have babies," said Betty Adair, Alysa's grandmother.
"I know I got another kid that I have to help out right now, and she's still stuck there in the foster system, and it's too late for Alysa but it's not too late for Halia," said Horney.
Pacheco was also watching her older daughter, who's now under Department of Human Services care.
Horney said she wants her back.
"They failed her, they failed her bad and they need to make it right with Halia and bring her back home," she said.
Horney did see her cousin in court for her arraignment on Wednesday, but didn't speak to her.
Horney said her younger daughter broke a leg a month ago and she's been suspicious since then.
DHS told FOX23 they already had an internal investigation going about the broken leg.
Now they're also working with investigators to get to the bottom of this.
FOX23 also learned Pacheco's husband was the one who called police.
"Said Alysa fought going to sleep for most of the night, he didn't know when these injuries could've happened, he wasn't that awake (or) that aware of what was going on," said Horney.
Now she wants justice.
"I want her to spend the rest of her life in jail because Alysa didn't deserve this. Alysa's never going to get to come home again, she's never going to get to spend a Christmas, another birthday with us," she said.
Horney was due to meet with the caseworker again in February to get her daughters back.
DHS released this statement to FOX23:
“Everyone at DHS is shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless death of Alysa Horney, a beautiful little 2-year-old girl. We understand this is an emotional time for the family as it is for us and the entire community; however, based upon what we know at this time, we do not agree with allegations currently being expressed by family members as to what we did or did not do to protect this child. We are preparing a summary of our involvement with this child which will be released to the public soon.
Our child welfare specialists are working alongside local law enforcement and the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation to find answers to the questions we all are asking about this child’s death. Independent administrative reviews of our agency’s involvement with this child and family are also being conducted by the Office of Client Advocacy and the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth."