Authorities said the body of Navaeh Allen, 2, the missing toddler from Baton Rouge, was found in Mississippi on Sunday, Sept. 26, and her stepfather has been arrested in connection with the investigation into her disappearance.
The Hancock County (Mississippi) coroner confirmed Allen’s body was found there. It was located near the Pearlington area, which is about 20 minutes from Slidell. According to BRPD, an autopsy will be performed by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office to determine the cause of death.
The baby’s stepfather, Phillip Gardner, 30, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Prison on Sunday on charges of unlawful disposal of remains and obstruction of justice.
According to BRPD, he could face additional charges based on the autopsy results. Police added they will hold a news conference at some point during the upcoming week.
Investigators said earlier in the day that they believed her body was across the state line. They added detectives with BRPD, the FBI, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, and Gulf South Search and Recuse were involved in finding the toddler’s body.
Baton Rouge detectives started their search for the missing toddler at an apartment complex on La Belle Avenue on Friday, Sept. 24. They continued searching Saturday, which is when the FBI became involved in the investigation.
Contact Jay Allen at [email protected]