St. Petersburg police find body of missing Florida boy, 2, in mouth of an alligator

The body of a 2-year-old Florida boy who had been missing since his mother was found slain Thursday was also discovered dead in the mouth of an alligator Friday, police said.

Police were waiting for the medical examiner to examine the body of Taylen Mosley to determine the cause of death, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said Friday.

However, Holloway said the boy's father, Thomas Mosley, 21, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of the boy’s mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery, and their young son, Taylen. The department posted the news on its Facebook page.

A frantic daylong search involving local, state and federal authorities including dive teams and officers using drones, had been ongoing since the boy's mother’s body was found stabbed to death in her St. Petersburg apartment Thursday afternoon.

While searching for the boy at the nearby Dell Holmes Park recreational area and Lake Maggiore, detectives saw an alligator in the lake with something in its mouth. When they realized it was a child’s body, they fired at and killed the alligator.

"As the detectives got closer they fired one round into the alligator and the alligator dropped the object and we were able to retrieve Taylen's body intact," Holloway said during a Friday night press conference, posted by Tampa Bay area TV station Spectrum Bay News 9.

“We are sorry it has had to end this way,” Holloway said during news conference.

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Police had issued an amber alert Thursday for Taylen after police found his mother's body. Jeffery, who worked at a CVS store, and her son were last seen by family members around 5:20 p.m. Wednesday. Police have said around 8:30 p.m. neighbors heard a loud commotion near their apartment but police were not called.

Jeffery’s mother contacted the property manager at the apartment complex after not hearing from her daughter the next day. Family members said Jeffery and Taylen had just moved about a month ago.

Jeffrey was found dead in what Holloway described as “a very violent crime scene” in which she had been stabbed numerous times.

Thomas Mosley went to his mother’s house about 9 p.m. Wednesday with the cuts on his arms and hands, Holloway said, and then admitted himself to a local hospital, where he remained Friday night. "He didn't want to talk to a detective and then later on he asked for an attorney," Mosley said.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida police find dead body of missing boy, 2, in alligator's mouth