A body believed to be that of a missing northwest Indiana toddler has been found in a field about 30 miles away from where the girl was last reported seen.
Police investigators, working all day in the rural area near Otis, Ind., discovered the body around mid-afternoon Thursday. Otis is located about 6 miles south of Michigan City in LaPorte County.
Lake County Prosecuter Bernard Carter told the Post-Tribune, “We feel very comfortable that we do, in fact, have Jada Justice.”
Jada Justice, 2, was reported missing June 16 by her 18-year-old cousin, Engelica Castillo, who alleged she had left the toddler alone in the car at a gas station in Gary, Ind., to buy milk and when she returned, found Justice gone. Castillo was baby-sitting Justice while the girl’s mother, Melissa Swiontek, was away on vacation, according to the Post-Tribune.
However, police started questioning Castillo’s story last week, and began investigating both Castillo and her boyfriend, Timothy Tkachik, 24. Neither has been cooperative with the authorities, police told the Post-Tribune.
Police expect to file criminal charges Friday against Castillo and Tkachik, already in custody. An autopsy on the body will be performed Friday in an attempt to confirm police suspicion.