Baton Rouge agents have arrested the stepfather of a missing 2-year-old girl and authorities say they fear the toddler is dead.
Nevaeh Allen was reported missing on Friday after her older siblings arrived home after school and noticed the door to their apartment was open and the toddler was gone, state police said. Louisiana at the time. His stepfather, Phillip Gardner, told authorities he took a nap around 1 p.m. and that was the last time he saw Neveah.
Gardner has been charged with illegal disposal of remains and obstruction of justice, Baton Rouge police said on Sunday. Baton Rouge Police Department Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, Jr., said authorities are currently looking for Neveah’s body, according to NBC affiliate WVLA.
“The evidence and the interviews point to the unimaginable,” McKneely said. “The baby may be dead.”
It is not known if Gardner retained the services of a lawyer. Inmate records show he was held at East Baton Rouge Prison and remained in custody on Sunday afternoon.
Nevaeh’s mother Lanaya Cardwell told reporters in tears on Friday that she was at work when her daughter went missing and it wasn’t like the toddler walking away. Cardwell said she last saw her daughter before she started working and that Neveah, who is affectionately known as Nu Nu, wore a yellow and pink dress with pineapples on it.
“Nevaeh is not known to roam,” Cardwell said. “I never had to correct Nevaeh for even leaving the house without an adult. Nevaeh knows better.