Authorities said on Monday that a 2-year-old boy whose body was discovered in the jaws of an alligator in Florida was drowned by his father, who also killed the child’s mother.
Taylen Mosley’s body was discovered in Lake Maggiore in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 31, one day after he went missing. Pashun Jeffery, his mother, was found stabbed to death on March 30.
The St. Petersburg Police Department announced on March 31 that Thomas Mosley, 21, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ms. Jeffery and their child. Mr. Mosley was imprisoned in the Pinellas County Jail.
The Pinellas County medical examiner confirmed the cause of death as drowning, according to police on Monday.
The Sixth Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office in Clearwater, Fla., did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
The police said an Amber Alert was issued after the boy’s mother was found stabbed to death in her apartment.
When Ms. Jeffery did not respond to a daily FaceTime call, her family members became concerned. When they arrived at her apartment, where she had been living for about a month, they noticed blood on the sidewalk outside.
According to an affidavit, apartment complex managers who entered her unit described it as a “very violent crime scene.”
The toddler’s search was called off the next day at the lake in Dell Holmes Park, about four miles southwest of downtown St. Petersburg. Detectives shot and killed an alligator while it was holding “an object,” later identified as the boy’s body.
According to a GoFundMe post written by her family, Ms. Jeffery worked at a nearby CVS and would frequently talk with Taylen on FaceTime during her breaks.
“We will miss her smile, joyous laughter, and insightful commentary on life,” the family said. “Taylen was a sweet and happy toddler who loved his mom.”
On April 7, Ms. Jeffery and Taylen were laid to rest.
“Pashun looked stunning, and Taylen looked great with his sunglasses on,” the family said. “It was a long and difficult day, but the support of our families, friends, and the larger community allowed us to persevere.”