Family trying to cope after Canton toddler killed, father charged with murder

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CANTON — They say it just doesn’t feel real. A Canton family is still trying to understand how a sweet, beautiful 3-year-old is gone. Her father, now a murder suspect.

Sunday night, family and loved ones of Hailey Miku gathered at the Canton home on Dewalt Northwest where she was found dead on Friday morning. Police say her father, Matthew Miku, 22, called 911 for help that morning. When paramedics got to the home the little girl was already dead, and the coroner ruled her death a homicide.

There is so much grief for the family because both the victim and the suspect were loved. The Miku family is confused, angered, and saddened about what has happened.

The suspect’s sister tells Fox 8 the biggest question she has is why did this happen.

"I just want to know why? What does a three-year-old have to do with this--to make anybody do this to her,” Candace Ortiz said.

Police have charged Miku with murder and child endangering. Miku’s live-in girlfriend, Jessica Bender, 21, has been charged with child endangering.

"She was beautiful, no flaws, she didn't deserve this at all,” said Mary Miku, the toddler’s aunt.

Canton Police say Hailey had injuries all over her entire body, and Hailey's family says they had no idea anything was wrong. Her aunt tells Fox 8 she has a very strong message for parents out there.

"Take care of your child, watch for signs, don't ignore them. If you think something's wrong get it checked out,” Miku said.