Body found in Florida freezer may be missing girl, 11

Oct 19, 2015 1:40 PM by CBS/AP, Photo: WTSP-TV

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Police believe they have found the body of a missing 11-year-old central Florida girl in a freezer.

Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said during a news conference late Sunday that a body was found inside a freezer in the garage of a grandmother of the missing girl, Janiya Thomas. Authorities say the body is likely that of Janiya, who hasn't been seen in more than a year.

The girl's aunt and grandmother made the discovery. They told investigators Janiya's mother and an unidentified man dropped off the freezer Wednesday.

The Bradenton Herald reports the women were unaware of its contents until they saw news reports about Janiya and checked inside.

Janiya's mother, 31-year-old Keishanna Thomas, was taken into custody Friday after police say she refused to answer questions about her daughter's whereabouts. It wasn't immediately clear if she has an attorney.

Local Child Protective Services tells CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV Janiya was last seen in August 2014, and Keishanna Thomas has an extensive history with CPS.

"Their mother is wicked. She's wrong. She's a criminal and possibly a killer," Bradenton police spokesperson Lt. James Racky told reporters.

Police believe Thomas's silence is a sign of her guilt. "She's not a mother. I don't know why she's not talking," Racky said.

The aunt and grandmother are cooperating with authorities. Police are trying to find the man who helped Keishanna Thomas with the freezer, WTSP reports.

Police say Janiyah had intestinal issues that made it difficult for her to be able to tell when she needed to use the bathroom, the station adds. Thomas became frustrated by her daughter's health issues and kept her locked in the bathroom. That medical condition is also the same condition that killed Janiyah's father.


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