A Florida woman tortured her daughter to death and kept her body in a padlocked freezer for 16 months.
Kieshanna Thomas was handed a 65-year sentence Wednesday after pleading no contest to charges of aggravated child abuse, second-degree murder, and abuse of a dead body. The 33-year-old told the judge that she entered the guilty plea to save her four other children from the pain of testifying against her.
Authorities, who spoke to Mail Online, disclosed that the body of 11-year-old Janiya Thomas was found in a freezer in October 2015. Officers with the Manatee County’s Child Protective Investigations unit had arrived at Thomas’ residence to take her five children away but found only four of them. Thomas refused to say what had happened to her child and was arrested for contempt of court.
It took police 16 months to find out that Thomas had left Janiya in a padlocked freezer at her mother’s house. The girl had been dumped in a cardboard box and looked gaunt.
Janiya’s aunt and grandmother had informed the police that they believed the girl’s body was in the freezer at their house. According to the pair, they grew suspicious after they heard that Janiya was missing, They told the police that Thomas and an unknown man had moved a freezer to their house in the same time period the girl was declared missing.
Investigations revealed that Janiya Thomas was missing since August 2014. However, police only learned of her disappearance in 2015. Police Chief Michael said he was shocked that it took that long for someone to notice that the girl had vanished.
“I am really upset that we let this child down. I am flabbergasted that no one questioned Janiya’s whereabouts for more than a year…a child disappeared and no one asked nothing.”
Thomas killed her daughter using a torturous process of starvation, suffocation, and drowning. A source speaking to CBS News divulged that Janiya suffered from a digestive condition that made her lose control of her bladder and bowels easily. According to the source, the 11-year-old girl’s father had the same condition, which subsequently killed him.
“She could not always tell when she had to go to the bathroom. That’s one of the reasons the mother was frustrated with the child and kept the child in the bathroom at her residence. That medical condition is the same one that killed Janiya’s father.”
The source added that Thomas liked to keep her house in Bradenton, a small city south of Tampa, Florida spotless and sometimes placed the Janiya in water with plenty of bleach in anticipation that she would defecate on herself. The family friend said that one time the water contained too much bleach and burnt Janiya’s skin.
Janiya’s siblings told detectives that their mother would lock their sister in the bathroom for 24 hours straight and block the door with a massive trunk to keep their sister inside. Neighbors have also admitted to seeing Janiya, who was 10-years-old at the time, rummaging through garbage cans looking for food for herself and her younger siblings.
A state report revealed that child protective services investigators and agencies fell short of unearthing the violence been perpetuated at Kieshanna’s house. The state child welfare agency had visited the family 10 times since 2003. Unfortunately, for over a year, Thomas found one excuse or the other on why her 11-year-old was never around with her other siblings.
[Featured Image by Kitzzeh/Thinkstock]