Mother charged with murder of girl whose body was found in freezer

- The Bradenton woman arrested in connection with the death of her daughter, whose body was found in a freezer in October, was formally charged with murder Tuesday.

Keishanna Thomas was indicted on first degree murder charges in the death of 11-year-old Janiya Thomas. She also faces charges of child abuse and abuse of a dead body.

Janiya was last seen alive in August of 2014. The investigation into the little girl's disappearance was launched in September 2015 when Child Protective Services went to Thomas' home to take her children into protective custody after a child abuse complaint, but they only found four of her five children at home.

Deputies said Thomas refused to say where Janiya was and she was arrested. Several days after her arrest, investigators found Janiya's body locked in a freezer.

According to the grand jury's indictment, Thomas killed Janiya by "starving her and/or asphyxiating her and/or drowning her," but it did not go into any other details. The indictment also said Thomas abused Janiya by torturing, maliciously punhsing, or willfully and unlawfully caging her.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Mother charged with murder of girl whose body was found in freezer
  • Withlacoochee expected to crest Wednesday
  • Neo-Nazi takes plea deal on explosives charges
  • Polk to use early release days as hurricane make-up days
  • Puerto Ricans on the mainland watch, wait after Maria devastates U.S. territory
  • Polk rejects plan to light road where teen was killed
  • After Dunedin school serves as shelter, 80 books missing from classroom
  • Time drags for those waiting for news from Puerto Rico
  • AMBER ALERT: 4 children missing from Manatee Co.
  • Wisconsin logger helps clear debris after Irma