MIAMI, Florida — A Florida police chief says he’s “flabbergasted” that no one questioned the whereabouts of an 11-year-old girl who apparently had not been seen for more than a year.
A body believed to be Janiya Thomas was discovered inside a freezer at her grandmother’s house near Bradenton on Sunday night.
Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski says the girl’s 31-year-old mother, Keishanna Thomas, brought the freezer to the home Wednesday. Two days later, child protective services officials showed up at Thomas’ apartment to check on her five children. They only found four. When Thomas refused to divulge Janiya’s whereabouts, the judge ordered her held on contempt charges.
Radzilowski told The Associated Press he’s angry that “a child could just disappear and no one asked nothing.”
Police began searching for Janiya on Friday. Radzilowski says the grandmother and aunt opened the padlock on the freezer after hearing police were searching for her.
An attorney isn’t listed for Thomas, who remained in jail Tuesday charged with aggravated child abuse.