GREECE, N.Y. — The mother of a young girl who drowned in the Erie Canal this summer wants justice.

Aliyah Williams, 6, was pulled out of the Erie Canal in July. According to Greece Police, Tyler Kanaley, her 23-year-old cousin, and his friend, 25-year-old Laura McCasland, are responsible for her death.

“I don’t feel anybody has done my daughter justice yet," said Amy Pogorzelski, Aliyah’s mother.

During the investigation, the two told police that when they took Aliyah and her 11-year-old sister to Henpeck Park to canoe on the Erie Canal, they left Aliyah unsupervised and she fell in the water.

They have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and possessing 31 pounds of marijuana.

“It’s not enough for taking a whole child from a whole community,” said Pogorzelski. “Endangerment means she would still be alive. She was taken out and that’s how I feel.” 

Aliyah’s mom is demanding that Kanaley and McCasland receive a harsher punishment. She wants the two of them to be charged with negligent homicide.



Court documents confirm that Aliyah and her sister did not have on life jackets. Pogorzelski believes Aliyah was left by the water on purpose.  She says when she spoke to her 11-year-old daughter, she told her that Aliyah was also offered alcohol.  

“They get out there and immediately take their life jackets off. Why? Who knows?  They decided to get high and drunk,” said Pogorzelski. 

The Greece Police Department says they have discussed all possible charges with the district attorney’s office. 

"We did review everything and we did not feel that there was enough to charge a homicide. Sometimes an accident is an accident," said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

The DA says the drug and endangerment charges are still pending in this case.