Body of Florida boy, 2, found in mouth of alligator after desperate search; father charged with murder
Authorities said the body of a 2-year-old Florida boy was found Friday night in the mouth of an alligator.
The St. Petersburg Police Department said Taylen Mosley was found in Lake Maggiore and that his father, 21-year-old Thomas Mosley, had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his young son and wife.
"It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that we found the body of Taylen Mosley. My condolences to his family," Chief Anthony Holloway said in a statement.
This announcement comes following a desperate search for the child and after his mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffrey, was found stabbed to death in her St. Petersburg apartment on Thursday afternoon.
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The boy had been missing since then and a major search was launched with the assistance of local, state and federal agencies.
The dive teams of St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, Clearwater Fire Rescue, PCSO and Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue searched the ponds and lakes near the apartment complex.
Search and Rescue of Central Florida searched using cadaver dogs and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted with the reptile.
Police said that the investigation led detectives to search Dell Holmes Park, 2741 22nd Street South and Lake Maggiore.
Following a day-long search, evening officers were alerted to an alligator seen with something in its mouth. The alligator was killed in order to retrieve the body.
The medical examiner will determine what caused the toddler's death.
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"We are sorry it has had to end this way," Holloway said during a Friday night news conference, telling reporters that Mosley is hospitalized with cuts on his hands and arms and has refused to talk to investigators. He does not yet have a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
Police have not revealed how his son was killed or whether the alligator had played a role in that.
Jeffrey, who worked at a CVS store, and her son were last seen by family members at around 5:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday. While neighbors heard a loud commotion near their apartment at around 8:30 p.m. the same night, the police were not called.
On Thursday, Jeffrey's mother contacted the apartment complex property manager after not hearing from her daughter. Jeffrey was found to have been stabbed multiple times in what Holloway described as "a very violent crime scene."
Thomas Mosley went to his mother’s house about 9 p.m. Wednesday night with the injuries on his arms and hands, the chief said, before admitting himself to a local hospital, where he remained Friday night.
The pair had just moved into the apartment complex about a month ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.