Mother of 11-year-old killed faces new charges

- Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski told FOX 13 Thursday Keishanna Thomas was charged with abuse to a dead body or "Caylee's Law."

She should appear once again in front of a Manatee County judge Friday afternoon. It will be her sixth time appearing in court.

So far, she has refused to answer questions about her daughter 11-year-old Janiya Thomas.

"This is a follow up today," said Judge Diana Moreland.

She refused once more Thursday morning when she appeared on a contempt of court charge. Keishanna was arrested last Friday after investigators noticed Janiya was missing. Investigators were following up on an allegation of child abuse made by her 12-year-old son.

Two day later police found remains, believed to be Janiya, locked in a freezer.

Investigators continue to hold out hope she will break her seal of silence in one of these court hearings.

But, her public defender, Franklin Roberts keeps advising her not to and Judge Moreland said it is Keishanna's choice to make.

"I have to give her the opportunity to speak," said Judge Roberts.

Keishanna seems to have made up her mind.

"I can see you shaking your head, and I understand Mr. Roberts is giving you advice that is appropriate," said Judge Moreland.

DCF said there have been 12 contacts with Keishanna since 2004, but so far has yet to release any of the 12 files.

DCF said the last time Janiya was seen alive was during a visit in June of 2014.

At that time, they say Keishanna became uncooperative and the case was closed as "non-compliant."

As investigators search for answers, a friend said Janiya's family is hurting.

"They  family they want answers. They want to know why," said Maria Barger.

Like everyone else, they are waiting for an explanation of what happened to the 11-year-old.

"Until all of it comes out, it might in court, and the mother starts talking. Nobody knows," said Barger.

Thomas should appear in front of a judge tomorrow afternoon.

Up Next:


Thank you for visiting FOX29.com! Please click the survey link below to tell us about your experience.

FOX 29 Website Survey

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories