Alysha Anderton hadn't seen her daughters Jaylin and Jayde for almost four years. She had visitation rights but she was denied access.
Trigger warning: Child abuse
A Texan mom who lost custody of her kids had worked hard to ensure that she gets to see her daughters soon, but before she could make that happen, she received a call from the foster parents that shattered her heart. Life would never be the same for her because she would not be able to see one of her children alive again. The woman had been looking forward to seeing her children after being denied access for years.
Alysha Anderton hadn't seen her daughters Jaylin and Jayde for almost four years. She had visitation rights after the children were moved from their home in Forney, Texas, to Odessa to live with Alysha’s step-sister Ashley Schwarz and her husband Daniel Schwarz. However, the Schwarzes didn't let them reunite. Now, the couple is being charged with capital murder for 8-year-old Jaylin's death.
"What upsets me the most is that I never got to see her alive again," Alysha told CBS7. "When they took them, I never got to say goodbye. So I’ve never had closure for the past four years," she added.
Jaylin passed away on August 29, 2020, after being forced to jump on a trampoline for hours in the sun. Her foster parents didn't give her any water or breaks while she completed her punishment in Fahrenheit 100 plus weather. The temperature of the trampoline "read to be approximately 110 degrees and the ground was approximately 150 degrees," police said, as per People.
Alysha loved her daughters immensely but lost their custody when she was unable to overcome her addiction within a timeframe decided by Child Protective Services (CPS). She had been working towards making amends and seeing them again but she got a call in August from her family to let her know that Jaylin died.
Investigators said that the Schwarzes had been punishing both girls by making them jump on a trampoline in the back yard. If either of them would stop, their water and breaks would be taken away. Eventually, Jaylin passed out and passed away. The autopsy ruled it a homicide by dehydration.
"I was surprised that it wasn’t more than dehydration,” Alysha said. “Because the little girl that I saw in the casket did not look like an 8-year-old girl. She was so, so tiny. She was so tiny. She was so tiny."
Both Daniel, 44, and Ashley, 34, were arrested and taken to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center, Odessa police said in a statement. The investigation further "revealed that the 8-year-old child... was not allowed to eat breakfast and was required to jump on the trampoline without stopping for an extended period of time. Further investigation revealed that the 8-year-old child was not allowed to drink any water because she was not jumping."
Alysha is casting more doubt into what happened at the home of her step-sister. "In the warrant affidavit, they had stated that when first responders arrived on the scene, that rigor mortis had clearly set into her body," Alysha said. "Meaning she laid there on that for at least an hour and a half to two hours before anyone even found her. How? How does that even happen? How? I don’t understand. I want answers," she said.
Alysha saw her daughter for the first time since 2017, but she was in a coffin. "And then, oh, I still remember it like it was yesterday. The first time I saw her in almost four years she was lying in a casket and that’s not fair," she said. “That’s not fair to me. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t totally break down."
The pain this mother went through was avoidable and she believes that both her kids would be alive now if she was allowed to see them. Jaylin has been buried near her mom and she visits every single day.
"If that’s all I get now, I’ll take it. I’ll take it and I will treasure it for the rest of my life,” Alysha said. “If that’s all I’m given when it comes to her if that’s all I’m given I will take it any day ……. And I will make it beautiful just as she was in life.”
According to Jaylin's obituary, she "was full of life, loved horseback riding, ice skating, and all things outdoors. She loved all people and animals, and was very interested in history and science," reports People.
CPS has placed Jayde with Ashley and Daniel’s babysitter but Alysha's family set up a GoFundMe page to help her get Jayde back.