Talaija Dorsey’s badly decomposed body was found in a wooded area not far from her home, a week after the 12-year-old was reported missing. Police are holding John Celestine, 43, as the only suspect in this case, according to NOLA in an update on July 9.
Celestine was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday on the charge of first-degree murder. Celestine is Talaija’s mother’s fiancé, who lived in the home with the girl and her mother. Enough forensic evidence was collected from the scene of where the girl’s body was found to indict Celestine on these charges.
Celestine has been jailed since July 2 on charges stemming from this case. He was in jail on charges of obstruction of justice and failing to cooperate in an investigation. He was upgraded from a “person of interest” to a “suspect” once the girl’s body was found.
Talaija’s slipper was discovered in the trunk of Celestine’ car and his conflicting statements on how the slipper got there along with his refusal to answer any questions triggered the investigation to center on him as a suspect. Once the girl's body was found, all the evidence pointed to this man.
Talaija’s body was found by detectives combing the area along the route that Celestine took to work daily. This paid off because her body was found right off Louisiana 3127, which is the highway Celestine took back and forth to work, according to NewsMax.
Talaija lived in the house with her mother, Emma Smith, Celestine and three siblings. The youngest two children were the Smith’s and Celestine’s kids. Talaija and her sister were from her mother’s previous relationship.
Police had enough evidence to charge Celestine in this murder and they believe they have enough evidence to get this guy convicted of killing the 12-year-old. St. James Parish Sheriff Willie Martin believes they will have more going into court with this case.
Martin found Taliaja’s body when he went out on a search all by himself. He couldn’t rest until this missing girl was found. He was the one to find her badly decomposed body in an area of high grass, which was in a wooded area on the edge of a cane field. He broke down during the press conference that was held announcing they found the girl's body.
Martin said it looked as if Taliaja had been dead since the day she went missing. He believes it was only one person who did this to the little girl, and the suspect is now charged. Martin carried a photo of the 12-year-old in his pocket through the entire time they searched for the missing girl.