Following an exhaustive six day search by the St. James Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police, the FBI and "just about every police department within a 100 mile radius," the lifeless body of 12-year-old Talaija Dorsey who was discovered missing by her mother around 7 a.m. last Tuesday, was found on the morning of July 6 “near the edge of a sugar cane field behind a patch of tall grass,” according to Fox News. Sheriff Willy Martin of the St. James Sheriff's Office in St. James Parish, Louisiana, made the emotional announcement yesterday.
Officers with the St. James Sheriff's Office found Talaija’s body around 10:20 a.m. Sunday near the edge of that sugar cane field. Martin said that the case of this missing child and the discovery of her remains have taken an emotional toll on everyone involved, adding that "People go out and hurt each other all the time, but when it's a child there's a difference,"
"It hits home for everybody," Martin said.
John Celestine, the 42-year-old fiancé of Talaija’s mother, Emma Dorsey, was jailed last Wednesday on an obstruction of justice charge and for providing false communications in connection with the missing child case. Martin stipulated that Celestine “is now a suspect in Dorsey's disappearance and death.” The sheriff vowed that his department’s investigation into Talaija’s disappearance and death will go forward until justice is served for the young girl’s family, adding:
"We're not finished. We've got a lot of work left.”
The Advocate reported yesterday that Martin believes the young girl’s body has been in that sugar cane field last Tuesday, on the same day she was discovered missing from her bedroom. The day following Talaija’s disappearance, sheriff’s deputies found a pair of her slippers in an “out-of-use minivan at the family’s home.” Following his arrest on July 2, the St. James Sheriff's Office named Celestine a person of interest in Talaija’s disappearance.
Except for his emotional announcement yesterday about finding Talaija’s body, Martin isn’t releasing any additional details regarding the child’s manner of death or the exact location where her remains were discovered. He did state though, that at this point, authorities don’t know if Talaija was killed at the sugar cane field, or killed earlier and then transported there. An autopsy to determine cause of death will be performed over the next few days.
Martin’s voice broke often during the news conference. He had to pause several times while answering questions and tried to maintain his composure while talking about a case he said had become personal for him.