The Etowah County Coroner's Office has confirmed the identity of a child's body police found on a Gadsden road Tuesday night.
The coroner's office says the body discovered in a wooded area on Plainview Street is that of 20-month-old Maliyah Lindsay. She was reported missing by her mother on Monday.
The child's body was found shortly after the arrest of her father, Stephon Lindsay, who investigators say was arrested in connection to the reported disappearance of his daughter Maliyah. Stephon Lindsay is currently in custody of the Etowah County Jail and is being held on no bond.
Gadsden Police said Maliyah's mother, 19-year-old Tasmine Thomas, called them Monday night around 7:10 p.m. to report her 20-month-old daughter missing.
She said her daughter had not been seen since March 5 when Stephon Lindsay said he took the child to his sister's house for a few days. According to investigators, Tasmine said she was asleep when Stephon took the child, and Stephon was back home the next morning when she woke up. Police say Tasmine lives in the Emma Sansom public housing community in Gadsden.
Investigators said Tasmine told Stephon a week later she wanted to see the child. He said he would go with her, then left to get gas for his car and pick up the child. A short time later, Tasmine said she called Stephon's sister who said she had not seen Stephon nor the baby in several weeks. Tasmine then called police.
Gadsden Police Detective Wayne Hammonds located and arrested Stephon Lindsay Tuesday night. It was after Lindsay's arrest when investigators said they found the body of a child on Plainview Street. The area where the body was found has been used as an illegal dumping ground where people have abandoned old televisions and tires.
Gadsden police returned to the crime scene on Plainview Street around 3 a.m. Wednesday to look for any possible murder weapons. Captain Bobby Jackson said they are specifically looking for large knives or possibly a sword.
Captain Bobby Jackson described the crime scene as gruesome.
"I believe they are searching for weapons that might have been used in the offense. This unfortunately, [could be] swords or a hatchet," Jackson said.
The child's mother, Tasmine Thomas, was in a state of shock and grief Wednesday afternoon, struggling to make funeral arrangements for her young daughter. Tasmine recently gave birth to another baby girl only a month ago, and now faces raising a girl who will never know her sister.
Thomas says that Maliyah's funeral will be held Saturday, March 16 at Mission Baptist Church.
Stay with FOX6 News for more information on this developing story.
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