St. Petersburg, FL – The body of a missing two-year-old boy was found inside the mouth of an alligator after his father allegedly thew him into Lake Maggiore late last week.
The series of events leading to the grisly discovery began on March 29, after 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery threw a party at her Lincoln Shores apartment with family members to celebrate the 21st birthday of her boyfriend, Thomas Mosley, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The couple’s son, two-year-old Taylen Mosley, was also in attendance, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The get-together ended at approximately 5:15 p.m.
Investigators said the couple and Taylen were alone at their apartment after the party, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A neighbor later recalled having heard a noise coming from the home that evening, but said it didn’t seem to be significant and that they didn’t think to report it, according to investigators.
Police said Thomas Mosley left the residence at approximately 8:42 p.m. and headed over to the area of Lake Maggiore, then went to his mother’s home about 10 minutes away from the lake, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He allegedly had “severe lacerations” to his arms and hands and was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital for treatment, according to police.
Investigators said Thomas Mosley’s injuries were “consistent with injuries caused by slippage during a knife attack,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
When Jeffery failed to pick up the phone for a daily FaceTime chat with her family on April 30, they became worried and went over to her apartment at 11601 Fourth Street North to check on her.
They said they arrived to find blood out on the sidewalk in front of the couple’s home, according to court records.
Jeffery’s concerned family members immediately contacted the apartment complex’s management and got them to open the door to the apartment, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Inside, they discovered a “very violent crime scene,” according to police.
Jeffery was found dead on her bathroom floor with more than 100 stab wounds, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Investigators said they located a bloody shoe print with a Gucci emblem on the floor of the bathroom, as well as a blood-smeared cleaning bottle with one of Thomas Mosley’s fingerprints on it, according to court documents.
But Jeffery’s little boy was nowhere to be found.
Pashun Jeffery was violently murdered. Now her son Taylen Mosley has been taken. I cannot imagine what he may have seen. He is only 2 and was last seen at 5:30pm on 3/29/23. His father has been contacted. They are going door to door looking for footage today in St. Petersburg,… pic.twitter.com/cOnHqgriZk
— Rose (@901Lulu) March 31, 2023
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies flooded the area and an Amber Alert was issued for the missing two-year-old, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A helicopter and drones searched the area from above, and a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) K9 bloodhound was brought to the home.
Have you seen Taylen? He is two years old and someone murdered his mother. Help #stpetepd find him pic.twitter.com/6HZOieBCHl
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) March 31, 2023
The search for Taylen expanded to Dell Holmes Park on the northwest side of Lake Maggiore on March 31, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
While searching the park, someone spotted an alligator that was carrying something in its mouth, according to police.
Officers fired one round at the alligator, at which point it dropped the object, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
Police recovered the item and confirmed it was Taylen’s intact body.
💔#BREAKING Missing Toddler #TaylenMosley found dead in alligator’s mouth in water @ Dell Holmes Park
👮🏻♂️Shot one round at 🐊 & recovered Taylen’s body intact
❗️#ThomasMosley is charged with 2 counts of first-degree murder
❗️T’s mom #PashunJeffery was stabbed multiple times
— Pixie ✨🧚🏻♀️☀️ (@PixiePi13720126) April 1, 2023
The alligator was subsequently euthanized, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
According to the affidavit, Thomas Mosley allegedly “did throw or place” his son into the lake, causing “mortal wounds” that resulted in his death.
Thomas Mosley has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on March 31.
A motive for the double homicide has not been released.