VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Police, after finding the body of a child in an Oceanfront hotel parking lot last Friday, are calling the disappearance of a missing 11-month-old Virginia Beach baby suspicious.
The child’s body could not immediately be identified visually and will have to undergo DNA testing to determine if it is that of missing Janyiha Whiteman whose family last saw her on Oct. 1, WSLS reports.
On September 16, Janyiha’s mother, Marie Whiteman, left her in the care of her live-in boyfriend, 33-year-old Lawrence Ray Smith, while she served a one-month probation sentence. Marie said that while Smith is not the baby’s biological father, Marie said he’d been there since the baby was born.
Initially Marie’s family reported things were fine with the baby. Within two weeks they began witnessing what they said were many people going in and out of the couple’s home, including prostitutes, and reported their concerns about the baby to Marie.
It was reported that Marie told 13News that she filed three affidavits requesting her baby be placed in the care and custody of a family member after learning of the issues with people entering her home.
Smith was arrested at around 3:30 p.m. last Friday on unrelated felony charges. The baby’s family had not seen the baby since Oct. 1 and had not heard from Smith since Oct. 3. They reportedly contacted police Oct. 6.
Read: Boyfriend leads mom, police to baby’s body, believed to be Janyiha Whiteman
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