Family release statement after missing two-year-old girl's body is found
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Featured Image Credit: FBI / Facebook/Lansing Police Department
The family of a two-year-old girl have spoken out after her body was found abandoned in an alleyway.
Police issued an Amber Alert for Wynter Cole Smith after she was reported missing at 11:30pm on Sunday (2 July) following an incident at her home in Detroit.
The mum managed to escape from the house and call for help, but when they arrived they found Trice and Wynter had gone. Trice was not Wynter's father.
Wynter’s brother, who is just one year old, was still at the home, unharmed.
Police spotted Wynter's mother's car a few hours later with Trice in the driver's seat, and he crashed into another police car after trying to speed away from authorities.
Trice actively resisted arrest while being taken into custody, but it was noted that Wynter wasn't with him when he was arrested.
The man did not cooperate with police as the search for Wynter continued, and authorities were forced to use divers, dogs, drones and helicopters in a bid to help find the young girl.
A search of Trice's phone revealed his movements after he allegedly attacked Wynter's mother, and it was while searching the various areas that FBI agents and Detroit police officers found Wynter’s body on Wednesday (5 July) in an alley.
In the wake of the discovery, Wynter's family released a statement via Bsharah Public Relations to say they were 'heartbroken' over the loss of the two-year-old, who was a 'beautiful daughter, granddaughter, cousin, niece, and big sister'.
"Wynter’s brief but bright life was taken from her unnecessarily, and we will grieve her death forever," they continued.
"We wish to thank the FBI, all law enforcement, all the volunteers, and the Dock Ellis Foundation for their assistance, compassion, and professionalism.
"In remembering Wynter, we believe that it is necessary to help make sure that this kind of tragedy never again touches any other family. Anywhere."
"We asked the state legislature and Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer to consider legislation that further ensures that multiple violent offenders remain in jail or prison, as they are tragically a threat to all of us," the family continued.
The statement ended with the news that the family will be holding a vigil for Wynter at 6pm local time this evening (7 July).
Prior to the discovery of Wynter's body, Trice faced charges of assault with intent to murder, first-degree home invasion, unlawful imprisonment, aggravated domestic violence (second offence), unlawful driving away of an automobile, felonious assault, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault.
He was charged as a violent habitual fourth offender, and may face additional charges linked to Wynter's disappearance as the investigation unfolds.
Trice is being held without bond.
After the stabbing, Wynter's mother was said to be in stable condition and recovering in hospital.