Special Report: The Mariah Cunningham Case: Two Years Pursuing Justice

Special Reports

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Thursday marks two years since a Little Rock mother and her toddlers were killed inside their home, eventually leading to the arrests and convictions of the two men.

Tyler Thomason takes a closer look at the case file, and speaks with family members who say they still wonder why Mariah Cunningham and her two children were tragically killed.

The scene wasn’t an unfamiliar one in Little Rock, blue lights, yellow tape. Killings in the Capital City hit a ten year high in 2017, but three of those murders would strike a nerve with anyone who learned what happened at the Rosewood Apartments inside unit 85.

“To come and find all three of them on the floor dead, it’s just unbelievable. Unbelievable,” says the victims’ grandmother Sheba Cunningham.

December 5, 2017 officers found 24-year-old Mariah Cunningham, and her two young children, Elijah and Alaylah Fisher, fatally stabbed, lying together in a back bedroom.

Newly released crime scene photos detail the brutality of their violent deaths.

Blood covered door knobs, wall, floors, even the ceiling light.

“I’m pretty sure that she was fighting with all her might to get to her children to save them,” says Derryka Miller Mariah’s cousin.

We spoke to Mariah’s cousin from Atlanta.

“It’s like a horror story,” says Miller.

In October of this year, it took a jury half an hour to convict Michael Collins for killing the family. He’s in prison for life without parole.

Michael Collins

Collin’s half-brother William Alexander pleaded guilty for his role in the crime, which was explained as a robbery turned massacre.

William Alexander

Alexander received a 60 year sentence.

“The hardest part for the last two years, up until the trial, was wondering why,” says Miller.

Ahead of his trial Collins spoke about the case on a phone call from jail.

According to a transcript of the recorded conversation Collins said “Yep. I did everything. Did the whole nine, and then I forced my brother to go with me. I’ma be in here man, i’m tired of looking at these concrete walls, I gotta wrap my mind around being in this mother ****** for life. Now I’m just sitting here like ‘I hope I don’t go to hell’.”

“You know, we never received an answer why,” says Miller.

Mariah’s fmaily is now left mourning three losses every year, right around the holidays.

“We’ll shed some tears, and we’ll just have to try continuing to push forward to heal,” says Miller.

Mariah Cunningham has one other daughter who still lives here in Little Rock, along with a brother.

We have been told that both remain deeply affected about the tragedy.

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