ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, say a missing child was found in an alligator’s mouth and his father has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
During a news conference on Friday, Chief Anthony Holloway said officers were investigating the area of Del Homes Park when they spotted an alligator with an object in its mouth. The chief said officers fired one round at the alligator and it dropped the object.
Officers were then able to retrieve Taylen’s body intact, Holloway said.
“We are so sorry that it had to end this way,” Holloway said.
According to the chief, Taylen’s mother, Pashun Jeffrey, was killed at the nearby Lincoln Shores Apartments after being stabbed multiple times.
An AMBER Alert was issued on Thursday after Taylen disappeared.
Taylen’s father — who has not been named — was previously deemed a person of interest in the case. On Friday evening, the chief said Taylen’s father is now facing two charges of first-degree murder.
On Friday afternoon, Holloway told reporters that a blood trail was seen near Jeffrey’s vehicle.
Holloway said the child’s father showed up at his mother’s home with cuts on his arm at 9 p.m. Wednesday. He admitted himself to a hospital afterward.
“Nothing in our investigation leads us to believe that he is a victim,” Holloway said.
Holloway said investigators are trying to figure out if Taylen died before he went into the lake or after.
Here’s a timeline of what we know so far.
Wednesday, March 29 – 5:30 p.m.
Pashun Jeffrey and Taylen Mosley were last seen, alive, by a family member.
Wednesday, March 29 – 8:30 p.m.
A neighbor told police they heard a “commotion” coming from the apartment at around this time.
Wednesday, March 29 – 9 p.m.
Taylen’s father shows up at his mother’s house with cuts on his hands and arms. He went to a hospital afterward.
Thursday, March 30 – 2:30 p.m.
Family members asked apartment staff for a welfare check on Pashun after they failed to get in touch with her. Pashun’s body was discovered alongside “a very violent homicide scene in the apartment,” according to Holloway.
Friday, March 31
Officers find Taylen’s body in the mouth of an alligator and charge Taylen’s father with two counts of first-degree murder.