Mississippi autopsy confirms child’s body in garbage bags

September 17, 2019 GMT

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — An autopsy confirms that remains found in garbage bags in a Mississippi basement belonged to a small child.

Meridian police Chief Benny Dubose told The Meridian Star that the Friday autopsy at the state crime lab found a badly decomposed body with a broken rib on one side and cracked ribs on the other. The autopsy also found burns on the body, Dubose said.

Police have charged 35-year-old Celeste Louise Smith of Meridian with capital murder and two counts of child neglect. She 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.


Smith has told authorities that the child was badly burned while she was bathing him, Dubose said.

Dubose said officials are awaiting results of a DNA test to confirm the body’s identity, but said results could take weeks are longer.

Smith is jailed without bail and waived a preliminary hearing Monday, meaning the next legal stop for the case is for prosecutors to present it to a grand jury for indictment.

Meridian Municipal Judge Robbie Jones said Smith has stopped cooperating with authorities and isn’t providing any more details about the case.