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.

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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.