BRADENTON -- The State Attorney's Office has formally charged Keishanna Thomas with abusing her 11-year-old daughter Janiya and abusing her dead body, which was found in a freezer on Oct. 18.
Janiya was reported missing on Oct. 16 by Manatee County Sheriff's Office child protective investigators after Keishanna Thomas refused to tell them or a judge anything about the girl's whereabouts and wellbeing. The sheriff's investigators had arrived at Thomas' home to remove her five children as part of a child abuse investigation involving Thomas' 12-year-old son, but only four were found.
Thomas was held in contempt of court, which has since been set aside, although she has yet to answer any questions about Janiya. She is being held at the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $200,000 on charges of aggravated child abuse, child abuse and abuse of a dead body.
On Oct. 18, law enforcement was called out to the home of a relative in the 5000 block of 21st Way East in Bradenton after they found Janiya's body inside a freezer Thomas had brought to their home under the guise that she was being evicted from her apartment.
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Assistant State Attorney Art Brown confirmed Thursday afternoon that the two charges involving Janiya have been formally filed.
The medical examiner's office has yet to release results of an autopsy on Janiya's body.
"The investigation in the death is still ongoing," Brown said.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.