Meridian woman charged with capital murder following discovery of a child's body

Paula Merritt/ The Meridian Star

Celeste Louise Smith, 35, of Meridian, appears in Meridian Municipal Court on Thursday.  Smith was charged with capital murder and two counts of child neglect following the discovery of the body of a child at a city residence. Police believe the body is 5-year-old Jakie Toole, a child with special needs who was last seen in April but was reported missing on Sept. 4, according to MPD Police Chief Benny Dubose. 

Meridian police have charged a Meridian woman with capital murder and two counts of child neglect following the discovery of the possible remains of a child at a city residence.

The charges were made at an initial appearance Thursday in Meridian municipal court.

Remains were found in a bag Wednesday morning after police served a search warrant at a home on Crabapple Drive, police said.

The suspect, Celeste Louise Smith, 35, of Meridian, directed police to the location of the possible human remains, MPD Chief Benny Dubose said.

Meridian woman charged with capital murder following discovery of a child's body

Paula Merritt/ The Meridian Star

Celeste Louise Smith, 35, of Meridian, appears in Meridian Municipal Court on Thursday.  Smith was charged with capital murder and two counts of child neglect following the discovery of the body of a child at a city residence. 

Smith first guided police to a wooded area near the house, but later took authorities to the basement of a house, where a bag of remains was found, Dubose said.

Police believe the remains belong to 5-year-old Jakie Toole, a child with special needs who was last seen in April but was reported missing on Sept. 4, Dubose said.

Dubose said police can’t confirm if the items in the bag are human, however, until results are received from the crime lab in Jackson, where an autopsy was expected to be conducted Thursday or Friday.

"We believe that it is, but we don't know," Dubose said.

Dubose said Smith was a friend of the Toole family who was watching the children.

City Court Judge Robbie Jones said bond was denied for Smith because he believes she was involved in the child's disappearance.

"It's a tragedy that obviously didn't need to occur," Jones said.

A preliminary hearing for Smith is scheduled for noon on Monday.

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