Autopsy confirms gruesome discovery hidden in garbage bags – child was beaten, burned

Published 5:18 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

State forensic pathologists confirmed the badly decomposed human remains found inside garbage bags in a Mississippi basement belonged to a small child. Their report showed the child had been beaten and his body burned.

The gruesome discovery came last week after a former caregiver of a missing 5-year-old child led police to the location of the bags.

The caregiver, Celeste Louise Smith, 35, of Meridian, has been charged with capital murder and child neglect, police say.

Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose tells The Meridian Star the Friday autopsy found a badly decomposed body with a broken rib on one side and cracked ribs on the other. Dubose says the autopsy also found burns.

Smith led police to the body Wednesday after another woman reported her 5-year-old son, Jakie Toole, had been missing since April. Police say Smith once took care of the boy and his siblings.

Dubose says officials are awaiting results of a DNA test to confirm the body’s identity.

Smith is jailed without bail and waived a preliminary hearing Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.