Lena Lunsford's lawyers also argued that the circuit judge erred in deciding there was "no reasonable likelihood" that the abuse and neglect would stop under a court-supervised improvement period.
The DHHR successfully argued that without an explanation of Aliayah's disappearance, "there can be no assurance that the other children in the home can be safe in their parents' care."
Aliayah disappeared Sept. 24, 2011 from a rented home near Bendale. She's never been found.
Lena Lunsford told police her daughter had been ill and was vomiting the night before. Aliayah was in her bed at 6:30 a.m., her mother claimed, but missing when she went to check on her a few hours later.
Authorities have made no arrests and identified no suspects. The FBI has refused to say whether agents believe Aliayah is still alive, but it has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to her recovery or an arrest.
Lena Lunsford was indicted weeks after Aliayah's disappearance on charges that she illegally swapped welfare benefits for cash five times in two months. She pleaded guilty to selling $114 worth of credit on her food-stamp card for $50 cash and reported to prison last June.
During one of the hearings in that case, a judge ordered her to live apart from Ralph Lunsford after he acknowledged on the witness stand that he had bought and used synthetic drugs called bath salts that are known to cause extreme agitation, hallucinations and violent and bizarre behavior.
Ralph Lunsford also acknowledged in his testimony that police had considered him a person of interest and repeatedly questioned him in Aliayah's disappearance.
Lena Lunsford gave birth to twins after Aliayah disappeared and before she went to prison. They were taken into state custody with the other children. She later filed for divorce.