SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The discovery of a 5-year-old girl’s body inside a storage unit in Sacramento last week led to the arrests of her father and stepmother, and prompted a joint investigation by police in California and Nevada.

Sacramento police linked the unit to Tyler Anderson, 23, and Averyauna Anderson, both Nevada residents, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Reno police identified the girl as Cali Anderson, who was Tyler Anderson’s daughter. Leyanie Robinson, Cali’s biological mother, told Sacramento’s FOX 40 that Tyler Anderson had full custody of the child.

“It’s hard for me to believe Tyler would do anything like this or be involved in something like this,” Kevin Ward, an acquaintance of Tyler Anderson’s, told FOX 40. “He loved that little girl but you don’t know what people do behind closed doors.”

The body was discovered Tuesday night after police received a call, FOX 40 reported. As the investigation unfolds, the manager of the storage facility said the business was “cooperating with law enforcement, 100 percent.”


Tyler and Averyauna Anderson were arrested after the body of his 5-year-old girl was found in a duffel bag inside a storage facility. (Sacramento Police Department/Washoe County Jail)

According to investigators in Reno, Cali died sometime within the last two weeks inside the Andersons’ apartment. She showed signs of being malnourished and emaciated, according to coroner’s office information in an affidavit.

The affidavit said Cali became unresponsive May 4, but the couple did not call for help. They later allegedly placed her body inside a duffel bag and kept it in a closet for a week.

Afterward, the couple transported Cali’s body to Sacramento in a rented vehicle, police said.

The Anderson’s have two boys together.

According to the arrest affidavit, Averyuana stated, during an interview with law enforcement, that Cali was experiencing health problems but did not seek medical attention for the little girl because Cali was her husband’s daughter and therefore his responsibility.

Robinson says she wants to know why this happened to her daughter and that she is “confused and distraught.”

“How could you do that to your own child ?” asked Robinson, referencing Cali’s father, Tyler. Robinson says she has “overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness and disappointment.”

Robinson also questioned why the animal cage was in the Anderson’s home.

“Why did they have that in there? Did [the Andersons] use that for my daughter?”

Robinson says she is heartbroken and angry she did not have custody of her little girl. She says she would have taken care of Cali.

“I would have made sure she had clothes on her back and food in her belly at all times,” said Robinson.

Police arrested the Andersons on Wednesday. Tyler Anderson was booked into Sacramento’s main county jail on suspicion of manslaughter, police said.

Averyauna Anderson was booked into the Washoe County Jail in Reno on child abuse charges and destroying or concealing evidence.

The investigation is continuing, authorities said.