Body Of Missing Louisiana Toddler Found In Mississippi

PEARLINGTON, Miss. (AP) — Authorities found the body of a missing 2-year-old Louisiana girl in a remote part of southwest Mississippi, and the girl's stepfather has been arrested on suspicion of illegally disposing of her body, news outlets reported.

Navaeh Allen's remains were found Sunday in the Logtown area of Hancock County, Mississippi, coroner Derek Turnage told the Biloxi Sun Herald. The FBI was involved in the search for the girl, according to the newspaper.

Turnage said her body will be turned over to Louisiana authorities for an autopsy.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana police reported the girl missing on Friday. The girl's stepfather, Phillip Gardner, said he was at home sleeping and woke up to find her gone and the door unlocked, according to police.

But police say he later changed his story, acknowledging he found the girl unresponsive and lifeless and disposed of her remains without notifying authorities, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported. Gardner, 30, was booked into jail on Sunday. Jail records did not list an attorney for him.

Police cautioned that no one has been implicated in the girl's death, and authorities still had to determine how she died.