Taylen Mosley, the 2-year-old boy who was missing when his mother’s body was found in her apartment Thursday, was found dead Friday in St. Louis. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said.
Holloway said the officer found the boy holding the alligator’s mouth near Dell Holmes Park in St. Louis. Petersburg the policeman fired at the alligator and the animal killed the boy.
Holloway, said to be Taylen’s father, Thomas Mosley, 21, will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with Taylen’s death, and the killing of the boy’s mother, Pashun Jeffery, 20.
Holloway said Thomas Mosley stabbed Jeffery several times, then went to the hospital Wednesday night with cuts on his arms and hands. He was in the hospital Friday night, and the police plan to arrest Holloway after the incident, he said.
Taylen’s body was found near Lake Maggiore, which is more than 13 miles from the apartment where her mother was killed. The cause of Taylen’s death was still under investigation Friday pending an autopsy by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.
At a news conference Friday night, Holloway said the ending was heartbreaking with deep emotion for the officers who worked long hours to investigate the case. The investigation led officers to search around Dell Holmes Park, 2741 22nd Street S, and Lake Maggiore. The alligator, which had the boy’s body in its mouth, was killed, Holloway said.
“It’s tough on these men and women,” Holloway said. “We don’t want to find him like this.”
The news comes after an investigation that lasted more than 24 hours. On Friday afternoon, while the investigation continues, Taylen’s family asked for the public’s help in an interview they had with authorities. The boy had just celebrated his birthday 19 days ago.
Her grandmother, Lakita Denson, prayed through tears: She had already lost her daughter, whom she had FaceTimed with everyone in the morning, and she wanted to find Taylen.
The family held up large pictures of Taylen and her mother. Jeffery’s great aunt, Theo Brickhouse-Sails, kept her arm around Denson to feed her.
Taylen’s family nicknamed him “Tay-Taum” and “Glam.” I loved PB & J sandwiches, but I refused to hate them. He loved calling his mother every day when he got off work at CVS.
“Taylen is a beautiful little boy,” Brickhouse-Vela said. “Taylen lost his mom.”
Jeffery, 20, was found dead in a unit at Lincoln Beach Apartments, 11601 Fourth St. N, about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, St. Louis police said. Petersburg, he said. Taylen could not be found, prompting authorities to send an email that described the boy as a “kidnapped child.”
Police on Friday morning officially named Thomas Mosley as a “person of interest” in Jeffery’s death.
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Thomas Mosley refused to speak with detectives, Holloway said. Efforts by the Tampa Bay Times to reach him by phone Friday were unsuccessful.
Holloway said Taylen and her mother were last seen around 5:30 Wednesday afternoon. Around 8:30 that night, a neighbor heard a noise coming from Jeffery’s room, but a St. Louis police spokesman said. Petersburg on Thursday said the disturbance was not “memorable” and that the neighbor did not call the police.
Between 9 and 9:15 Wednesday night, Thomas Mosley came to his mother’s house, Holloway said. Police did not say how far from Jeffery’s apartment. That day was also Thomas Mosley’s birthday.
The family first became concerned when Denson made FaceTime calls Thursday and no one picked up in the morning. Later that day, a family manager called the family’s Lincoln Beach apartment to check on Jeffery and his son.
Jeffery had only been living in the cell for about a month, his family said.
The door was locked, Holloway said, but a roommate who entered found “a very violent crime scene.”
The question is that the boy caught hunting in the woods around the apartment. Dive teams also searched for nearby gaps. Drone officers used to check the area from above.
The police of St. Petersburg asked for volunteers to help with the search on Saturday, but later on Friday called back after the gruesome discovery.
Times contributors Natalie Weber and Tony Marrero contributed to this report.