Missing 5-year-old Darnell Taylor Found Lifeless

The Amber Alert for a missing boy believed to have been kidnapped or harmed by his foster mother is canceled after Columbus police said they found the boy’s body in Franklin County.

Police officials confirmed at about 7 a.m. that 5-year-old Darnell Taylor was found in a sewage drain in Franklin County.

Taylor’s disappearance — and that of his legal guardian, Pammy Maye — triggered the AMBER Alert at about 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. A short time later, Maye’s Jeep was found abandoned in a suburb near Cleveland, but the two were nowhere to be found.

Thursday, Maye was charged with kidnapping and child endangerment, and during a news conference that afternoon, Bryant pleaded for Maye to contact police to let them know she and the boy were OK.

Upon Friday’s discovery, however, Maye will now face a murder charge, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said.

“This is now a homicide investigation,” Bryant said Friday morning. “This isn’t the outcome that we wanted. But we’re going to make sure we do everything we can to bring justice for Darnell.”

Maye was taken into custody Thursday night near Cleveland. It’s not clear what her connection to that area is, but Bryant said Maye was “walking suspiciously” outside a building and when officers arrived a short time later, they identified her as Maye and took her into custody without incident.

Bryant said during Friday’s brief news conference that as Maye was being questioned Thursday night, she told investigators that Taylor was in a sewage drain in the 1000 block of Marsdale Avenue in the Columbus area. Officers went there and made the heartbreaking discovery just after 1 a.m.

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