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Child's body found in Fla. freezer during search for girl

New York Daily News New York Daily News 19/10/2015 NICOLE HENSLEY

An 11-year-old girl no one has seen for over a year has likely been found dead in a locked deep freezer, Florida authorities said.

The gruesome discovery comes just days after the girl’s mother refused to divulge Janiya Thomas’ whereabouts to detectives or a judge — earning a contempt of court charge for now.

“Mother’s silence to me says she’s guilty. She’s not a mother.” Bradenton Police spokesman Lt. James Racky told reporters late Sunday of their number one suspect. “She’s wicked, she’s wrong, she’s criminal. She’s possibly a killer.”

The child’s distraught aunt and grandmother called police at around 7 p.m. to say they broke open the freezer after seeing news reports that Janiya was missing.

“They looked in it, saw what they thought was a body and called us,” Racky said.

Janiya’s last confirmed sighting was in Aug. 2014, WFLA-TV reported.

The freezer is a recent addition to their home. The child’s mother, 31-year-old Keishanna Thomas, brought the four-by-five freezer to their home on Wednesday with the help of a male friend, but never said where it came from.

The body inside it is believed to be Janiya, but the county’s medical examiner will need to confirm its identity with the help of DNA, fingerprints and dental records.

“The child in there is somebody’s child,” Racky added.

Thomas has refused to cooperate with authorities leaving investigators with the belief that Thomas was frustrated with Janiya’s medical problems affecting her digestive system.

The state’s Child Protective Services investigators had been probing the Thomas family since September when the mother’s 12-year-old son called police from a Walmart to report child abuse.

A judge ordered Thomas’ children be taken into state custody, but when those investigators went looking for those five kids, ages 2, 9, 12 and 15, at their home, authorities say Janiya was not among them.

Thomas refused to tell police or a judge where Janiya was and is now being held on a contempt of court charge at the Manatee County jail.

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