Janiya Thomas: Mother of missing Florida girl charged with child abuse

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — The mother of a missing 11-year-old girl remained in jail Tuesday on aggravated child abuse and contempt of court charges as authorities awaited an official identification of a body found in a padlocked freezer at a relative's home.

Keishanna Thomas, 31, was booked into jail Friday after refusing to answer questions about the whereabouts of Janiya Thomas. The child abuse charges were added Monday.

Child protective services officials say they went to her Bradenton apartment Friday to take custody of her five children, but they only found four. Manatee County Sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said that since 2003, there have been 10 reports involving the family, including the most recent one, which was opened Sept. 23.

Police say Janiya has been missing for a year or more, but authorities didn't know she was missing until Friday.

Keishanna Thomas dropped off the padlocked freezer at her mother's house last week, according to police. After Janiya was reported missing, the relatives told authorities they opened it and found a body inside. Police say it's likely Janiya.

It was unclear whether Thomas has an attorney to contact for comment on the cas

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