A jogger discovered the body of a child in a Houston bayou on Sunday, and now, officials believe it is that of missing 2-year-old Maliyah Bass.
“We believe that although we can’t confirm it’s her, we believe there’s a high probability of it being her,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said, as reported by KHOU-TV. “We don’t want to give people false hope. We want to hold on to a little hope, but we want to prepare for the worse.”
The child was last seen at a playground at the Sunset Crossings apartment complex in southwestern Houston, officials said. The body was found about one mile from the apartments, officials said.
Acevedo stated in a news conference that officials believe there was foul play involved in the disappearance.
“We really believe this is foul play,” the chief said, asking that anyone in the area with a security camera to check their footage for suspicious activity.
“I just want my baby back. She didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to bring her back,” a woman who said she was Maliyah’s grandmother told KTRK.
Officials said the girl’s mother told them that the 2-year-old was playing outside their apartment. She said that she left the toddler alone for several minutes, and when she came back, the girl was gone.
A local activist, Quanell X, said that the mother’s statements are not clear.
“They admit they realize this is a very very high crime area. It doesn’t make sense that if you know this is a high crime area, why would you bring your baby to a playground, go back in the house and shut the door behind you. That makes no sense. That is negligence as a parent,” activist Quanell X said.