Talaija Dorsey Found: Sheriff Emotional As Girl's Body Is Recovered

Stacy Carey

The body of Talaija Dorsey was found on Sunday near a cane field in Louisiana. The 12-year-old St. James pre-teen had been missing for five days, and the community is in shock over the loss of the girl. Talaija's mother's fiance is now under suspicion regarding her death.

According to CBS News, Talaija Dorsey was discovered missing from her bedroom Tuesday morning. An intensive search revealed nothing for days, and then on Sunday Dorsey's body was found in some thick grass. Authorities indicate that she likely died around the same time she was reported missing.

There is a man considered to be a suspect in the girl's death, and he is the fiance of Talaija's mother. John Celestine, 43, was initially considered a person of interest, and he was originally booked with an obstruction of justice charge shortly after Talaija's disappearance. Deputies reportedly found a pair of slippers belonging to Talaija in an unused minivan in the family's yard.

The St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin found Talaija Dorsey's body on Sunday, and this is a case that has touched him deeply. He says he has taken this case personally, and he had been carrying a photo of the girl with him day and night throughout the search. Martin says, "We looked at that smile every day," and he shares that his team was determined to find closure to the case.

Martin got emotional during the press conference announcing that Dorsey had been found. He says that things "Didn't end the way we were hoping," according to WAFB. Few details regarding exactly what happened to Talaija have been revealed as of yet. Authorities are keeping the specifics close to the vest for now as they continue the investigation. An autopsy is slated to be done early this week.

The area where Dorsey's body was found was part of a broad area that had been searched multiple times. It is a route that Celestine could have taken to work, Martin indicated. As The Advocate reports, Sheriff Martin indicated that they kept going back over the same general area as they felt they could be near her and not finding her. Ultimately they were right.

Reports indicate that Talaija's mother, Emma Dorsey, had been engaged to Celestine for about two years. They apparently had known one another for quite some time prior to that. Little else has been shared about the man at the center of the investigation or exactly what happened to Dorsey. More information should be revealed soon as the Talaija Dorsey autopsy takes place and the investigation continues into another sad case where it seems likely that a child died at the hands of a mother's boyfriend.

[Image via The Advocate]