The body of a 2-year-old Florida boy who had been the subject of a frantic search was found on Friday, March 31 in a lake in the jaws of an alligator, after his mother was slain, police said.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway also said the boy’s father, 21-year-old Thomas Mosley, will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killing of the boy’s mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery, and their young son Taylen Mosley.
Searchers, including dive teams and officers using drones, had been intensely looking for the boy since his mother’s body was discovered in their apartment earlier this week and he was nowhere to be found.
“We are sorry it has had to end this way,” Holloway said during a Friday night news conference on March 31.
Officers searching for the toddler at a lake a few miles from the apartment complex noticed an alligator "with an object in its mouth" that they quickly realized was a child’s body, Holloway said. They fired shots at the reptile, which dropped the body.
“We were able to retrieve Taylen’s body intact,” the chief said. The alligator was euthanized.
"Thomas Mosley is hospitalized with cuts on his hands and arms and has refused to talk to investigators," Holloway said. He does not yet have a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
Toddler's mother Jeffery, who worked at a CVS store, and her son were last seen by family members around 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29. Police have said around 8:30 p.m. neighbours heard a loud commotion near their apartment but police was not called.
The next day, Jeffery’s mother contacted the apartment complex property manager after not hearing from her daughter. That’s when they found her dead in what Holloway described as “a very violent crime scene” in which Jeffery had been stabbed numerous times.
Police have not revealed how the toddler, Taylen Mosley was killed or whether the alligator played any role in that.
Family members said mother and her son, Jeffery and Taylen had just moved into the apartment complex about a month ago.
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