BRADENTON, Fla. — The mother of an 11-year-old Bradenton girl whose body was found in a freezer has been charged with her murder.
The case made headlines across the country after the body of Janiya Thomas, age 11, was found in a freezer in the garage at her aunt’s home. Thomas had not been seen since August of 2014. Her body was found in October of 2015, which left many people wondering how a child could vanish undetected for more than a year.
The girl’s mother, Keishanna Thomas, was charged with her daughter’s murder on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, according to a Bradenton Police Department spokesperson. Thomas was already being held at the Manatee County Jail on charges of aggravated child abuse and abuse of a dead human body.
An affidavit reveals Janiya weighed just 44 pounds and was emaciated. Her right femur was completely broken. That injury occurred two to four weeks before the little girl’s death. In addition, Janiya’s hands and feet had ligature marks “indicative of being tied up,” investigators said.
Keishanna Thomas’ older children told investigators Janiya was kept in the bathroom because she suffered a condition which caused incontinence. The young girl was forced to sleep in the bathroom, investigators say. One day, one of the children saw the mother tie Janiya up and dunk her head in water, investigators said. Afterward, the bathroom where Janiya lived was cleaned and opened, according to the report. The sibling never saw her after that, investigators said.