Body found floating in Houston bayou is that of missing 2-year-old

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Body found floating in Houston bayou is that of missing 2-year-old


The body of a toddler found floating in a Houston bayou Sunday is almost certainly that of 2-year-old Maliyah “Tootie” Bass, a day after she was reported missing from a playground.

Police, suspecting foul play, are asking for the public’s help, especially from anyone who lives along one of the nearby waterways who may have seen something, or whose camera footage might contain clues.

“It is a sad day when you go over there and look at a little baby,” Acevedo said. “We would do anything to have that baby alive. That little baby needs justice.”

While final identification was pending, there was little doubt that the corpse found floating in the bayou 15 miles from where Maliyah lived was the missing girl, police said.

“Based on what we know, based on reported missing children in this city, we believe — although we can’t confirm it’s her — there’s a high probability it will be her,” Acevedo said.

Maliyah was reported missing after her mother said she left her for a few minutes in apartment complex playground. They launched a search and issued an Amber Alert, but in the end it was a jogger who found her, Acevedo said.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, a woman jogging along the bayou “spotted what she thought was a body floating,” Acevedo said in a media briefing that afternoon. She and her husband called 911 and the Houston Fire Department Water Rescue division was notified, pulled the body from the water “and sadly pronounced her deceased at the scene,” Acevedo said.

“This is an active investigation as far as I’m concerned,” he said, explaining that police were not releasing information on the condition of the body, what she was wearing when found, and other details. “We’re approaching this as a murder investigation, and then we’ll see where the evidence takes us from there.”

Acevedo urged anyone who lives or owns businesses not just along Brays Bayou but also near any other flood-control area or waterway that feeds into the 30-mile-long, slow-moving river to scrutinize any security footage, be it from a doorbell camera, business surveillance or even eyewitness accounts from joggers along the bayou trails.

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