Missing Toddler's Body Found Partly Buried in Philly Park - NBC Southern California
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Missing Toddler's Body Found Partly Buried in Philly Park

The 1-year-old died from suffocation and was partially buried in a North Philadelphia park near two city high schools

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Grandmother Speaks After Baby's Murder

    The grandmother of a 1-year-old girl who was suffocated and buried at an Olney park is talking about the baby and her heartbreak.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018)

    A 33-year-old woman was charged Thursday in the death of a toddler whose body was found partially buried in an Olney park earlier this week, police said.

    Nyishia Corbitt is charged with murder, possessing an instrument of crime, falsifying reports, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and abuse of a corpse.

    The baby, identified as 1-year-old Alina Diggs, was found buried in a shallow grave in Kemble Park. The park sits across from Central and Girl's high schools.

    Diggs died from suffocation, according to Capt. John Ryan, head of the Philadelphia police homicide unit.

    Alina Diggs,1, is pictured with her grandmother, Pamela Butler.
    Photo credit: Pamela Butler

    Surveillance video from Oct. 9 showed Corbitt exiting an apartment building near 16th Street and Olney Avenue with Diggs. Police think the baby was already dead at the time, Ryan said. She took the young girl to a park across the street and then returned sometime later without her.

    Corbitt is the girlfriend of Diggs' father, police said. They have two other children together. Corbitt's mother is caring for those kids, Ryan said.

    Diggs' father has not been charged.

    Diggs' mother, Brooke Barnes, is currently jailed in a Montgomery County on retail theft charges, police said.

    The girl's grandmother, Pamela Butler, said Thursday that she was working become the baby's legal guardian and had a court hearing scheduled for next week.

    "My only grandbaby has been taken," Butler told NBC10's Drew Smith. "It's a hard pill to swallow."

    Nyishia Corbitt, 33, is charged with murder in the killing of 1-year-old Alina Diggs.
    Photo credit: NBC10

    Philadelphia police said Corbitt told her own mother that Barnes was missing. The older woman then told officers, who used cadaver dogs to find the child's body earlier Oct. 16. 

    Officers found the baby's head partially above ground when they searched the park, police said. She was also fully clothed, wearing a bright pink shirt.

    "It's terrible to see a child meet this kind of end," Ryan said.

    Police sources said evidence was recovered in an Olney apartment and in another location several blocks away from the crime scene.

    Butler said she asked to see Diggs this weekend, but that the girl's father was evasive saying that the baby was in New York with his parents. Police believe the girl was already dead when that conversation took place.

    "There’s no way you don’t see your daughter for an entire week and you don’t ask any questions," Butler said.

    The family's pastor visited the Brooks, the baby's mother, in jail and told her about the murder, Butler said.

    "I miss walking through the front door and she’s sliding down the steps at the speed of lightning and these are things that you can’t get back, but I do have the memories to hold onto," the grandmother said.

    CORRECTION (Oct. 18, 2018, 8:47 p.m. ET): Philadelphia police initially said the toddler's name was Alicia Barnes. This story has been updated to correct her name to Alina Diggs.