Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)

Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

WARNING: Details of this story may be disturbing to some readers

An off-duty police officer described what began as an errand with a friend and ended in the discovery of a dead child, this during the second day of testimony in the murder trial of Langley’s KerryAnn Lewis.

Lewis is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her seven-year-old daughter, Aaliyah Rosa. Rosa was found in Lewis’ Langley apartment on July 22, 2018.

On Monday, the Crown prosecutor laid out its case, saying they will attempt to prove that Lewis planned the killing in advance, and sedated Aaliyah with prescription medication before drowning the girl in the bathtub.

READ MORE: Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

On Tuesday afternoon, Crown lawyer Christopher McPherson led witness Dwayne Harrison through what he saw that evening.

Harrison, a Lethbridge police officer, was visiting family and friends in Langley that week, and woke up on the morning of July 22 to a text from his friend, Kim Stephany. The two had seen each other at a barbecue just the night before.

Stephany said he had just broken up with his girlfriend, whom Harrison knew slightly, and Stephany needed help getting his things back. He asked Harrison and another friend to come with him when he retrieved some ID and belongings from the apartment.

They decided to go in the evening, Harrison said, because Stephany knew that Lewis had a visit with her daughter, Aaliyah, until 5 p.m. that day.

They arrived to find the door blocked from the inside.

READ MORE: IHIT investigating death of seven-year-old girl in Langley

“Kim basically shouldered the door a couple times, just to open it wide enough for him to squeeze through the opening and enter the apartment,” Harrison testified.

The apartment was hot and dark, with the blinds drawn. Stephany and the others began gathering up items, but Stephany needed some things from a small safe that was in the master bedroom. Lewis was apparently inside the bedroom and didn’t come to the door.

Harrison said they eventually told Lewis they would call the police to gain access to the bedroom.

“I heard what sounded like furniture or something being dragged against the floor,” and the door opened, and Lewis let them in, he said.

Throughout this time, a cellphone in the apartment was ringing repeatedly, over and over, Harrison testified.

He said Lewis did not look well.

“She looked out of it, she looked groggy, and she was talking with a lisp.”

Lewis sounded like she had had her mouth frozen at the dentist, Harrison recounted, recommending at the time that they call paramedics.

“I could not in good conscience leave her like this,” Harrison said.

While this was going on, Lewis was trying and failing to enter the code on the safe.

Harrison testified that Stephany looked at the phone and asked why Lewis’s ex-husband Steve Rosa was calling. The next time he looked at the phone, he asked why the RCMP were phoning her.

“When I heard that, I walked into the master bedroom to see what was going on,” Harrison said.

Lewis answered the phone, and gave confused answers to questions about her address.

“We just want to make sure that your child is okay,” Harrison remembered hearing from the person on the other end of the call.

The only room he hadn’t seen was the master bathroom. Harrison said he pushed the door open and saw a girl lying on her back, in a damp pink bathrobe, with her eyes partly open and glazed-looking.

“She was not breathing. She was cold. She did not have a pulse,” Harrison said.

He did a few chest compressions, and brown liquid came out of the girl’s nose.

A frantic 9-1-1 call, somewhat garbled by bad reception, followed.

In the midst of that call, which was played in court, Harrison said he twice blocked Lewis from running into the bathroom. He believed she was trying to kill herself. Both times he blocked her or pulled her back, and she hit her head on the floor and shook like she was having a seizure.

At the direction of the 9-1-1 dispatcher, they moved Aaliyah’s body into the living room so the dispatcher could give them directions to help her. Minutes later, both police and paramedics arrived, Harrison said.

He didn’t see Lewis, and went back into the bathroom, where he found her floating face down in the tub. He told police, and later saw paramedics wheeling Lewis out of the apartment on a stretcher.

READ MORE: Tree of life to be planted in memory of Aaliyah Rosa

READ MORE: Community pays tribute to Aaliyah Rosa with tree planting, balloon release

Lewis’s defence lawyer, Marilyn Sandford, asked Harrison if, as a police officer, he understood the importance of giving truthful answers as a witness, which he said he did.

Sandford later told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin that she would continue to examine Harrison on Wednesday, as she felt there were significant differences between his statements to the Langley RCMP after the incident, and his testimony in court.

The trial also heard testimony in the morning from police officers about a number of prescription drugs seized from the apartment during the search by members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtIHITLangleyLangley RCMPmurder

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Most Read