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Two charged in connection to drowning death at Henpeck Park

GREECE, NY (WROC-TV) - Two adults have been charged in connection to the tragic death of six-year-old Aliyah Williams.

According to Greece Police, Aliyah was at Henpeck Park on Thursday when she vanished. Just hours later, her body was pulled from the Erie Canal.

23-year-old Tyler Kanaley and 25-year-old Laura McCasland have been charged with criminal possession of marijuana (3rd degree) and police say they will face more charges.

Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan says Kanaley and McCasland endangered Aliyah Williams life the day she drowned in the canal.

Tyler was the little girl’s cousin and Laura was his friend. Both had taken Aliyah and her 11-year-old sister to the park for a canoe ride.

Police say they had consumed marijuana earlier in the day before letting Aliyah approach the canal unsupervised. Nobody saw her fall into the water.

"The charges are based on the totality of the circumstances, all of the events of that day and the care that was exercised over Aliyah Williams by these two individuals." said Greece Police Chief, Patrick Phelan.

As part of their investigation into Aliyah’s death, police searched the car Kanaley and McCasland drove to the park in and found one-half pound of marijuana.

Kanaley and McCasland were staying at Kanaley’s grandfather’s house on Buck Hill Road and police later searched the house for more drugs. They say they discovered an additional 31 pounds of marijuana.

"As part of the investigation, we had cause to search that residence." said Phelan, "That's a rather large seizure of marijuana.”

It’s unknown if Aliyah’s parents knew she would be going to the park with Kanaley and McCasland.

"The parents are incredibly upset. They're having a very hard time. They are not well." said Phelan.

Phelan is hoping to give Aliyah’s family justice.

"We need to be the voice for this little girl. That's what we're doing right here, right now. We're speaking for this little girl and defending her anyway we can." said Phelan.

Kanaley and McCasland were both arraigned this past Friday and are being held at the Monroe County Jail.


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