BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) — Disturbing details are emerging in the case involving 11-year-old Janiya Thomas. On Thursday, the Bradenton Police Department slapped another charge on her mother Keishanna Thomas, abuse of a dead body.
Keishanna Thomas is scheduled to make her first appearance on that charge Friday afternoon. According to the arrest warrant, a friend helped Keishanna move a freezer from her residence to a relative’s home on October 15th. On October 18th, an occupant of the residence pried the locked freezer open and discovered the body of a child inside and called police.
That person, who is not identified in the warrant, told detectives Keishanna claimed the freezer was filled with meat and it was locked because she didn’t want anyone to steal her meat. She claimed it was plugged in because she didn’t want the meat to go bad. While the medical examiner has yet to positively identify the body as that of Janiya, the warrant reveals the child found in the freezer matches her description.
The warrant also says Janiya’s siblings were questioned on her whereabouts and one of them told a child protective investigator, “One day we went to school, came back, and she was just gone.” When asked where she went, the child replied, “I don’t know where she went.” Janiya has been missing since August 2014.
Bradenton Police launched a missing child investigation a week ago, after Keishanna Thomas refused to tell a judge where she was, or if she was alive or dead. Court documents reveal Janiya had a medical condition that caused her to defecate uncontrollably. And according to her siblings, as punishment, their mother would lock the child in the bathroom for prolonged periods of time. Documents also reveal Keishanna Thomas would sleep near the bathroom so Janiya couldn’t escape.
In addition to the abuse of a dead body charge, Keishanna Thomas faces aggravated child abuse, child abuse and contempt of court charges.