Siblings of 11-Year-Old Florida Girl Believed to Have Been Found Dead in a Freezer Hadn't Seen Her in More Than a Year: Arrest Report
Janiya Thomas was last seen alive by Child Protective Services officials in June 2014
The siblings of Janiya Thomas, the 11-year-old Florida girl believed to have been found dead in a freezer on Sunday, told Bradenton, Florida, investigators that they hadn’t seen their sister in more than a year, according to an arrest report obtained by PEOPLE.
“I think she is dead or something,” Janiya Thomas’ brother told police Saturday, the report states. Janiya was last seen alive by Child Protective Services officials in June 2014.
Janiya’s mother, Keishanna Thomas, was taken into custody last Friday after she refused to tell authorities what happened to her missing 11-year-old daughter. For that, she was charged with contempt of court.
Police found the body of a child they believe to be Janiya stuffed inside a freezer after receiving a tip from one of the girl’s family members.
The medical examiner has yet to confirm the identity of the body, but Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski told PEOPLE he’s “flabbergasted” it took so long for someone to question the whereabouts of the missing child. “There was a failure to do right by this girl,” he said.
Janiya’s siblings told police that Thomas would often lock her in the bathroom for up to a week as punishment for soiling herself. The 11-year-old suffered from a medical condition that caused her to lose control of her bowel movements at times, police have said.
Sometimes Janiya would try to sneak out of the bathroom, but if Thomas caught her, she allegedly threatened to beat her with a belt, the report states. It adds that Thomas would sleep in front of the bathroom door to keep her from escaping, according to the arrest report.
When asked where their sister was, none of the siblings could answer, the report states. “I don’t know where she is,” her brother said. “One day we went to school and came back, she was just gone.”
Police discovered that Janiya was missing after CPS officials went to the home Friday to remove Thomas’ five children following a child abuse investigation. When they couldn’t locate Janiya, they asked Thomas about her whereabouts, but she refused to answer. At that point, she was taken into custody.
Thomas has since been charged with aggravated child abuse for a separate alleged incident involving her 12-year-old son. That incident prompted the investigation at her home on Friday.
Thomas has not yet entered a plea to the charges against her. She faces additional charges if the body found in the freezer is confirmed to be Janiya.
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