Meridian police: Child's remains show injuries, burns

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Celeste Louise Smith, a suspect in the death of 5-year-old Jakie Toole, appears in Meridian municipal court on Monday. Smith, 35, is charged with capital murder and two counts of child neglect following the discovery of remains at a home on Crabapple Drive last week. An autopsy report confirmed the remains are a child, police said.

An autopsy report has confirmed that remains found in a bag last week on Crabapple Drive in Meridian are a child. 

The report conducted at the Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson on Friday said the remains are human and consistent with a small child, MPD Chief Benny Dubose said. 

The remains were found on Sept. 11 after police served a search warrant at a home on Crabapple Drive. Dubose said authorities do not know how long the remains were at the home. 

The autopsy revealed the badly decomposed body had a broken rib on one side and cracked ribs on the other, Dubose said. The were also burns on the body, he said. 

A suspect, Celeste Louise Smith, 35, of Meridian, directed police to the body and was later charged with capital murder and two counts of child neglect. 

Smith was a caregiver for 5-year old Jakie Toole, a child with special needs who was last seen in April but not reported missing until Sept. 4. 

Smith waived her preliminary hearing Monday and the case will go to a grand jury. 

Dubose said a DNA test has been conducted to verify that the remains are the child, but results could take weeks or longer.  

Smith told authorities that the child was badly burned while she was bathing him, Dubose said.

Smith was denied bond on the capital murder charge and has two $80,000 bonds for the neglect charges.

Municipal Court Judge Robbie Jones said Smith is not cooperating with authorities and is not providing any more details about the case. 

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