A statewide search for a missing 2-year-old boy ended in tragedy on Friday when the child's body was found in the jaws of an alligator in Florida. The boy went missing after his mother was found stabbed to death. The father has been charged with the murders of the boy and his mother.
The body of 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery was found dead from "multiple stab wounds" inside her St. Petersburg apartment. There was reportedly a trail of blood from Jeffrey's vehicle to her apartment in what St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway described as “a very violent crime scene."
Jeffrey's son, 2-year-old Taylen Mosley, was not inside the apartment with his dead mother.
The St. Petersburg Police Department launched a frantic search for the missing boy. A statewide Amber Alert was sent out to locate Taylen.
Dive teams searched for the missing boy in retention ponds near the apartment, and police with cadaver dogs and drones combed the area.
On Friday, the body of Taylen Mosley was found in the mouth of an alligator. Police noticed an alligator “with an object in its mouth,” then quickly realized it was a child's body. Officers shot the alligator, causing it to release the boy. The alligator was euthanized.
The dead boy was discovered 10 miles south of the Lincoln Shores Apartments at Dell Holmes Park, which is close to Lake Maggiore.
Police did not specify how the 2-year-old boy died or what role the alligator attack played in his death. The medical examiner is investigating the boy's cause of death.
Taylen's father, Thomas Mosley, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his son and Pashun Jeffery.
Thomas Mosley allegedly went to his mother's house at around 9 p.m. Wednesday with abrasions on his body. The 21-year-old father had been named as a person of interest after he checked himself into a local hospital with “cuts to his hands into his arms.” Taylen was not with his father at the hospital. Thomas was still at a local hospital as of Friday night, according to authorities.
Police did not indicate if Thomas suffered the wounds in self-defense, but Holloway noted that “nothing in our investigation leads us to believe that he is a victim.”
Family members recall the deceased mother and son.
Lakita Denson told WFLA, “He’s always calling his mom on his cell phone. He miss his mom, they calling each other all the time. She really loved Taylen.”
Theo Brickhouse-Sails said, “We just want to say that Taylen is a beautiful little boy. He’s really loving and caring.”
Holloway said at a press conference, “We didn’t want to find him this way, but at least we can bring some closure to that family now.”
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