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Houston PD

A Houston mother who was photographed sobbing on the ground after her 2-year-old daughter was found in a storm drain has been charged in the child's murder.

Sahara Ervin, 20, and her boyfriend Travion Thompson, 21, were arrested Tuesday and charged with the murder of Maliyah Bass.

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Family handout

Maliyah's battered and bruised body was pulled from a storm drain on August 23, a day after the toddler was reported missing by her mother.

Ervin told police she left Maliyah on the playground for a few minutes while she cooked breakfast on Aug. 22. When Ervin went back outside, she said Maliyah was gone.

The community gathered to help in the search for Maliyah.

"Everyone looking stupid and looking for the baby when they knew what happened to the baby," said a neighbor, Stella, KTRK reported.

Court records show Maliyah was physically abused before she died. Her body was covered with looped-pattern bruises that may have been caused by an extension cord or a hanger.

The coroner said Maliyah died from blunt force trauma. She was last seen on the apartment's surveillance video on August 20 at 12:40 a.m.