Body of missing Florida two-year-old found in jaws of alligator following frantic search

·2 min read
The body of two-year-old Taylen Mosley has been discovered in the jaws of an alligator following a frantic search  (St Petersburg Police Department/ES composite)
The body of two-year-old Taylen Mosley has been discovered in the jaws of an alligator following a frantic search (St Petersburg Police Department/ES composite)

The body of a two-year-old Florida boy who had been the subject of a frantic search after his mother was killed was discovered on Friday in a lake in the jaws of an alligator, police said.

Searchers, including dive teams and officers using drones, had been intensely looking for the Taylen Mosley since his mother’s body was discovered in their apartment earlier this week, and he was nowhere to be found.

St Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said the boy’s father, 21-year-old Thomas Mosley, will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder following the death of Taylen’s mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery, and their young son.

Officers searching for the toddler at a lake a few miles from his mother’s apartment complex noticed an alligator “with an object in its mouth” that they quickly realized was a child’s body, Mr Holloway said.

They fired shots at the reptile, which dropped the body.

“We are sorry it has had to end this way,” Mr Holloway said during a Friday night news conference.

“We were able to retrieve Taylen’s body intact,” he said. The alligator was euthanised.

Thomas Mosley is hospitalised with cuts on his hands and arms and has refused to talk to investigators, Mr Holloway said. He does not yet have a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

“The father is not talking to us,” he added.

Ms Jeffery, who worked at a CVS store, and her son were last seen by family members around 5.20pm on Wednesday.

According to police, neighbours heard a loud commotion near their apartment at around 8.30pm, but police were not called.

The next day, Ms Jeffery’s mother contacted the apartment complex’s property manager after not hearing from her daughter.

That is when Ms Jeffery was found dead in what Mr Holloway described as “a very violent crime scene”, having been stabbed multiple times.

Police have not revealed how Taylen was killed or whether the alligator played a role in his death.

Thomas Mosley went to his mother’s house around 9pm on Wednesday with the cuts on his arms and hands, Mr Holloway said, before admitting himself to a local hospital, where he remained on Friday night.

Family members said Ms Jeffery and Taylen had just moved into the apartment complex about a month ago.