Missing 11 Year Old Girl’s Body Found In Freezer

The body of a child believed to be missing 11-year-old Janiya Thomas was found in a freezer in a Manatee County home Sunday, Bradenton police said.

“I have been notified that a child’s body was found, and it is suspected she is the missing 11-year-old girl,” Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said.

At 11 p.m. Sunday, during a hastily called news conference in the parking lot of the Royal Palm 20 theater, police spokesman Lt. James Racky outlined when, where and how the body was found.

“At 7 p.m. Sunday we received a phone call from a family member of Janiya Thomas telling us the location where she possibly might be located,” Racky said. “We went to that location, and were told there that the body of the child may be in a freezer.”

The house where the child was found is occupied by Janiya’s aunt and grandmother in the Woods of Hammock Place subdivision, Racky said.

“We were able to locate a body in a freezer, but we have yet to confirm that it is the missing juvenile, Janiya Thomas,” Racky said.

On Sunday night, crime scene tape was placed around the house and investigators were seen inside taking pictures of a freezer, which Racky said was a stand alone unit, five-foot by four-foot. Neighbors gathered outside along the darkened street lined with well-kept homes, as well.

“A medical examiner will have to confirm the body’s identity through fingerprints and DNA and dental records before a conclusive report on the identity can be given,” Racky said.

“But the location of the freezer was in a family residence so we are pretty sure it’s going to be her, but we are not positive,” Racky added.

This past Wednesday, Janiya’s mother, Keishanna Thomas, with the help of a man, moved the freezer to the home, Racky said.

“She had help from an unknown black male who we are still trying to identify,” Racky said. “If anyone knows who he is, we would like to talk to him.”

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