St. Petersburg, FL – An autopsy has revealed the cause of death for the missing two-year-old boy who was found inside the mouth of an alligator late last month.
The St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) confirmed on Monday that the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office determined two-year-old Taylen Mosley died by drowning, WTSP reported.
Police said the toddler was killed by his father, who either threw or placed him into Lake Maggiore on March 29.
Taylen’s body was discovered inside the mouth of an alligator on March 31, one day after the little boy’s mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery, was found stabbed to death inside her Lincoln Shores apartment.
The series of events leading up to the grisly killings began on March 29, after Jeffery threw a party at her home with family members to celebrate the 21st birthday of her boyfriend, Thomas Mosley, 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.
Right now, family and friends are laying Pashun Jeffery and Taylen Mosley to rest. Police say the St. Pete mother and her two-year-old son were killed a little more than a week ago by Taylen's father. Family and friends are wearing pink and blue to honor of Pashun and Taylen. pic.twitter.com/EZNlQPoMsG
— Kailey Tracy Fox 13 (@KaileyTracy) April 7, 2023
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.
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.
SPPD Chief Anthony Holloway said Thomas Mosley refused to cooperate with police during the search for his missing son, WFLA reported.
Thomas Mosley, 21, of St. Petersburg, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder for the death of Pashun Jeffery and their 2-year-old son, Taylen Mosley.
Thomas Mosley was taken to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Jail, where he remains awaiting trial #StPetePD pic.twitter.com/MLASVTfeIn
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) April 3, 2023
The frantic 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.
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 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.
Jeffery and Taylen were laid to rest on April 7, WTSP reported.