Father of missing toddler shares tragic new details about her disappearance

Cornelius Simmons and Ariellisa. (Source: WRIC)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Andrea Watkins-Simmons, 35, of Richmond, is behind bars in New York on abduction charges.

Meanwhile, her estranged husband is sharing tragic details of what he says happened to his 2-year-old daughter.

“Loving, caring young girl,” said Cornelius Simmons, describing his daughter, Ariellisa. “Anybody that came into her life, she would bless them, make them laugh, make them smile.”

On Nov. 25, 2015, Cornelius Simmons saw his daughter for the last time. Ariellisa was last seen with her stepmother — Simmons’s wife — Andrea Watkins-Simmons. On Feb. 1, New York police confirmed Watkins-Simmons was in custody on abduction charges. But the toddler was nowhere to be found.

“She loved Dora the Explorer, loved to sing. She loved karaoke,” Simmons revealed about Ariellisa.

On Jan. 16, Richmond police found human remains in a vacant upstairs apartment on Chamberlayne Avenue. While police have yet to identify the body, Simmons says it is his daughter.

“There was a two-year-old girl found on Chamberlayne at a familiar address,” he said, in an effort not to reveal too much about the case.

With the woman he once trusted behind bars, Simmons described experiencing an emotional storm of sadness and anger.

“I hope (Watkins-Simmons) dies. I pray she dies,” he said.

Now all he has to hold onto are memories of his first-born.

“The only thing that really loved me was my daughter,” he said fighting through tears. “And I loved her.”

Officials have given no word yet if other charges are pending against Watkins-Simmons. Ariellisa’s family has created a GoFundMe campaign to help with her funeral expenses.

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