An Inglewood man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murdering his 1-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the Los Angeles River in Long Beach.
Jayveyon Burley, 22, is charged with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death.
According to police, Burley went to Long Beach on Dec. 4 to pick up his two children, but he had only one child -- his 3-year-old son -- with him when he returned home to his mother's house in the 300 block of North Market Street in Inglewood. Authorities said his mother grew suspicious and called police, leading to a search in which the girl, Leilani Dream Burley, was found dead Dec. 5 in the Los Angeles River near the Ocean Boulevard bridge.
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Burley was arrested Dec. 5 by Inglewood police and has remained behind bars since then, jail records show.
The mother of Burley's children, Lynisha Hull, told NBC4 she last saw Leilani Sunday evening when Burley came to pick the kids up.
"My baby always lights up the room with her big beautiful eyes," Lynisha Hull told NBCLA. "Leilani was only 1 year old. She was full of life, and she was so beautiful and loved."
In a statement released shortly after the case was filed last month, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said, ``My heart goes out to the surviving family members and everyone who knew this innocent baby girl.
While we know there is nothing we can do to heal this extraordinary trauma, we will hold this person accountable for his callous actions.''
Burley is due back in a Long Beach courtroom Feb. 16.