The search for a missing two-year-old toddler came to a tragic end after the child's body was found inside the mouth of an alligator in Florida, one day after the boy's mother was found stabbed to death, police said. Thomas Mosley, the 21-year-old father of little Taylen Mosley of St. Petersburg, Florida, has been arrested and hit with charges related to the tragic deaths.
Thomas will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killing of the boy's mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery, and their young son Taylen Mosley. The child's body was found by cops after saw an alligator with something in its mouth and fired at it.
Killed Mercilessly by Their Own
Searchers, including diving teams and police using drones, had been frantically hunting for the youngster after his mother's body was found in their apartment earlier this week, but he could not be located.
Anthony Holloway, the chief of police in St. Petersburg, claimed that while investigating Dell Holmes Park, detectives came across an alligator in Lake Maggiore that had "an object in its mouth."
The alligator was shot by officers, killing it and causing it to drop the child's body.
Taylen's body was found, but authorities said it's still unclear how he died or whether he was already dead when he ended up in the lake. "It is with great sadness that Taylen Mosley has been found," Holloway said in a press conference.
"We are sorry that it had to end this way."
Authorities had been looking for Taylen since 2: 30 pm on Thursday when they discovered Jeffery dead inside her apartment from "multiple stab wounds" after following a blood trail from her car.
Chief Holloway previously said: "I can tell you it was a very violent homicide scene within the apartment.
"But we could not find the two-year-old. So right now, that's our main concern â is to try and find Taylen."
Unlike a Father
On Wednesday, neighbors reported that Taylen's father Thomas Mosley went inside the home and there was a commotion. He was immediately identified as a person of interest after he checked himself into a nearby hospital complaining of "cuts to his hands into his arms."
However, Holloway said that "nothing in our investigation leads us to believe that he is a victim." The police would not comment on the possibility that Jeffrey acquired the injuries while acting in self-defense.
Mosley, who remains in the hospital, notably, checked himself into the hospital without his son.
The agency was extremely concerned that the youngster was in danger and sent out an Amber Alert and started a massive volunteer search for him.
Police sent out diving teams to surrounding retention ponds before traveling 14 miles north of Taylen and Jeffery's house, where they ultimately discovered the boy's remains. Taylen and Jeffery's family remembered them with affection after their terrible deaths.
"He's always calling his mom on his cell phone," said Lakita Denson told WFLA. "He miss his mom, they calling each other all the time. She really loved Taylen."
"We just want to say that Taylen is a beautiful little boy," added Theo Brickhouse-Sails. "He's really loving and caring."
It's still unclear how Taylen disappeared or what happened to him after Jeffery's death.