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Authorities search for missing toddler after his mother was found dead in ‘very violent’ murder inside home

Taylen Mosley and Pashun Jeffrey (St. Petersburg Police Department)

Taylen Mosley and Pashun Jeffrey (St. Petersburg Police Department)

Law enforcement authorities in Florida are frantically searching for a 2-year-old boy after his mother was killed inside their home in what police described as a “very violent homicide.”

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, investigators have been unable to locate young Taylen Mosley after discovering his mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffrey, brutally murdered inside her apartment.

In a press release, police said officers responded to a 911 call at about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday regarding a disturbance at the Lincoln Shores Apartment Complex in the 11000 block of Fourth Street North. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders say they found Jeffrey dead while Mosley was nowhere to be found and “could be in danger.”

“I can tell you it was a very violent homicide scene within the apartment,” St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said during a Thursday news conference. “But we could not find the 2-year-old. So right now, that’s our main concern — is to try and find Taylen [Mosley]. We just want to make sure the child is safe.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued an Amber Alert describing Mosley as 2 feet tall and weighing 30 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Authorities on Friday said that investigators had been following multiple leads overnight but could not locate Mosley. Mosley’s father is a “person of interest” but “does not have the child,” police said.

“We have a fresh team now canvassing the Apt complex,” police said. “The St. Pete Fire Rescue Dept. dive team is searching nearby retention ponds.”

Holloway said that Jeffrey’s family last saw her and Mosley at around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the apartment on 4th Street North but noted that given the time that had passed, the boy “could be anywhere.”

Jeffrey’s family called her apartment manager Thursday afternoon and requested he check on her and Mosley because they couldn’t contact her after multiple attempts, Holloway said. The manager then discovered her body and called 911. When police began canvassing other tenants, one neighbor said that she heard a “commotion” coming from Jeffrey’s home on Wednesday night but decided not to involve the police, according to Holloway.

Holloway said investigators are unsure whether Mosley was inside the apartment when his mother was killed. He urged neighbors and other residents in the area who might have doorbell cameras or surveillance systems to share their footage with investigators.

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“If you have this child, please call us. Let us know that this child is safe because that’s our main concern right now,” Holloway said. “We’re not looking to charge anyone. We just want to know where this child is right now to make sure that he’s safe.”

Anyone with information on the child’s location or the homicide should call 911 or St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.