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Lawrenceville man charged in young child's death

Reuben Arthur Valrie

Reuben Arthur Valrie

LAWRENCEVILLE — A Lawrenceville man has been charged with murder after allegedly shaking his infant daughter to death.

Gwinnett County police said Reuben Arthur Valrie, 28, called 911 Wednesday to report that his 3-month-old daughter, Aliyana, had stopped breathing. Emergency medical personnel responded to the Wesley St. Claire Apartments off Sweetwater Road and transported the girl to Gwinnett Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy conducted the next day “discovered significant trauma on Aliyana’s body,” Cpl. Jake Smith said.

Homicide detectives quickly developed probable cause to charged Valrie with her murder, Smith said. Warrants accuse the father of “grabbing and shaking the child, causing internal injuries that led to her death” sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Valrie was arrested just before 2 a.m. Friday, about an hour after warrants were issued charging him with murder and first-degree child cruelty. He is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County jail.

Records show Valrie has a criminal history in Gwinnett, though not a violent one. Friday’s arrest marked the fifth since 2005 for the Austin, Texas, native; previous charges include theft by taking, probation violation, marijuana possession and possession of anabolic steroids.

Aliyana Valrie’s death marks the third alleged murder of a young Gwinnett child in less than three months.

On Nov. 2, the emaciated body of 10-year-old Emani Moss was found partially burned outside her family’s apartment on Veranda Chase Drive. Police believe her father and stepmother starved her to death and kept her locked away in deplorable conditions.

On the morning of Dec. 16, police were called to Norcross’ Steeplechase Apartments in response to 2-year-old Aiden Calvo “not waking up.” The toddler died several days later and his mother and her boyfriend — who had moved the family down from New York just a few days earlier — have been charged with his murder.