Body of Missing Girl Believed to be Found

Published June 26, 2009

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.

Written by Associated Press

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