The body of a Baton Rouge 2-year-old who was reported missing Friday was found in the remote Logtown area of Hancock County on Sunday, a local coroner confirmed to the Sun Herald.
The FBI, in conjunction with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, shut down Logtown Road off Mississippi 604 in Pearlington on Sunday to search for the body of Navaeh Allen, who was reportedly last seen in Baton Rouge neighborhood when her stepfather put her down for a nap on Friday.
Update: Navaeh Allen's body was found in the remote Logtown area of Hancock, Mississippi, a local coroner told the Biloxi Sun Herald.
Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage confirmed Allen’s body was found by authorities on Sunday.
Navaeh’s body will be turned over to Louisiana authorities for autopsy, Turnage said.
Baton Rouge police spent two days searching for Allen after she was reported missing, according to The Baton Rouge Advocate, but arrested the toddler’s stepfather Sunday afternoon after an interview with detectives.
The Advocate reports that 30-year-old Phillip Gardner was arrested on charges of unlawful disposal of remains and obstruction of justice.
Navaeh’s family told The Advocate that Gardner and the baby’s mother, Lanaya Cardwell, had a “toxic relationship” that was marked by violence, sometimes involving the child.
Marcus Allen, Navaeh’s father, told The Advocate that he last saw his daughter on Wednesday before dropping her off to spend the rest of the week with her mother and stepfather. He described Navaeh to the newspaper as “the perfect 2-year-old” who loved animals and the park.
Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam told the Sun Herald earlier Sunday that the Logtown area will remain closed until the FBI completes their investigation. Turnage said the case will be turned over to Louisiana authorities.