‘This would have been her first Christmas’

WEST ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Since December 2nd, Tiffany Romero has been nothing but numb.

That was the day her baby girl, Eiley Vee, was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

The Ector County Sheriff’s Office got involved when Medical Center Hospital called about the baby’s condition. It was bad.

“I woke up to the phone call that she was being transported to MCH, but he told me everything was fine,” Romero recalls, referencing a phone call she had with Eiley Vee’s stepfather, Edward Lira. “There was no possible way her injuries could have happened from the fall that Edward first claimed.”

Eiley Vee was later airlifted to Lubbock where nurses found the 10-month-old’s injuries to be consistent with that of abuse.

Investigators learned that Eiley Vee was in the care of her stepfather when the injuries happened. Edward Lira has since been charged with Capital Murder in Ector County.

Tiffany says Edward helped raise her daughter since birth. Abuse was something Tiffany says, is unimaginable, which is why Eiley Vee’s injuries and subsequent death have been immensely shocking.

“There were never patterns of abuse toward me or the kids. Nothing,” Romero said. “That’s why it’s become an even bigger mystery.”

When Eiley Vee died on December 13th, a life that was only beginning to know the world, was lost. Tiffany says Eiley Vee was a “ball of sunshine,” full of laughter, and often smiling. She says Eiley Vee was an easy baby to raise.

“This would have been her first Christmas. Her first everything. Next month is her first birthday. She didn’t get to reach her first anything,” Romero said.

Beatrice Romero is Tiffany Romero’s stepmother. She and Tiffany have been left wondering: what could they have done to have stopped the abuse?

“It’s just like, little things that we think of that we could have done to prevent it,” Beatrice Romero said. “But, other than that, no. We fully trusted Edward with the kids.”

Beatrice and Tiffany say they never saw any red flags or warning signs from Edward about potential abuse. Now, with questions unanswered, they are waiting for justice to takes its course.

As they wait, Beatrice and Tiffany say they want to help anyone who may be facing abuse. They know firsthand what tragedy is like. Beatrice and Tiffany say they want to do what they can to ensure another tragedy never occurs.

“We’re here to help you, as people to people… privately. Please, please, as scary, and as painful as it may be, please reach out for help before it’s too late,” Tiffany said.

There is a memorial bike ride planned in January. Initially, Eiley Vee’s family wanted to raise money to help with medical bills for Eiley Vee’s injuries. Instead, they plan to use any proceeds to help with funeral costs. The family also wants to donate to an organization dedicated towards stopping infant and child abuse.

For those interested in donating to a GoFundMe established by Eiley Vee’s mother, you can find the web page here.