Wichita police are awaiting autopsy results to confirm how a toddler found in a grassy lot Monday afternoon died.
The body of Jhornee M. Bland, 2, was discovered in the 1900 block of North Hydraulic less than 24 hours after her mother reported her missing. The girl’s babysitter, 25-year-old Tyerria Miles, was arrested shortly before 5 p.m. Monday following questioning at the Exploited and Missing Child Unit downtown.
Jhornee’s mother called 911 at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday after learning that her daughter was missing, Wichita police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said. Jhornee was last seen at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
Investigators working throughout the night and into the day eventually learned that a child’s body was in the lot, Woodrow said.
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“There’s no question that that’s who it is,” Woodrow said of Jhornee.
Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the cause of death. Miles is being held on suspicion of aggravated child endangerment and stolen property, but those offenses could be amended depending on what the autopsy reveals.
An Amber Alert was not issued in the case.
“This case did not meet any of the criteria for the Amber Alert to be issued,” Woodrow said.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, which established the guidelines for an Amber Alert to be issued, law enforcement must first confirm that an abduction has occurred.
“This was never even investigated as an abduction,” Woodrow said.
Jhornee’s mother “thought she was with the babysitter” and called 911 as soon as she was told the child was missing, Woodrow said.
Miles is a close friend of the child’s mother. She is pregnant and is being housed in the Sedgwick County Jail’s medical clinic, police said.
Records show she is being held on $100,000 bond.
Police were “always in contact with the babysitter,” Woodrow said. “The Police Department was confident they were speaking to the person who had information” about the child’s whereabouts. “There was never a time when they were looking for anyone else.”
U.S. Department of Justice Criteria for Amber Alert
▪ There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
▪ The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
▪ There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an Amber Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
▪ The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
▪ The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.