The months-long search for an Iowa girl has ended after investigations said this week that remains found in a pond last week indeed are the missing 10-year-old.
Breasia "Bree" Terrell was reported missing in July after sleeping over at Henry Earl Dinkins’ apartment in Davenport. He is the father of the girl’s half-brother. After months of searching, a set of human remains was found on Mar. 22 by two people fishing at a pond 20 miles north of Davenport, local outlet KTIV reports. The Davenport Police Department announced on Wednesday that those remains have been identified as the missing child following an autopsy by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the findings from DCI’s Crime Lab. We grieve alongside Breasia’s family and the community,” Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said in a statement. “What’s important to know is this: the work of our investigators is not over. This is an open and ongoing investigation.”
The authorities are investigating the case as a homicide.
Dinkins, 48, was named as a person of interest in Terrell’s disappearance back in July. However, he has not been charged in connection with her disappearance or death. He was arrested last year on unrelated sex offender registration violations, local outlet KWQC reports, and is currently in custody.
Aishia Lankford, Terrell’s mom, told the Des Moines Register that the grim discovery has squashed her hopes of her daughter still being alive. The family is now heartbroken, she said.
“Words cannot describe the heartache and emptiness that we feel," Lankford said in a statement provided to the outlet on Wednesday. "Our love for Breasia has gotten us through the past nine months and will continue to see us through as we fight for justice."
The girl loved to dance and sing to songs from Disney's "Moana," her mom said, adding that her smile lit up the world.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-6125.
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