Missing Toddler Found Dead In NJ Park, Father Sought For Questioning
The body was positively identified as Tierra Morgan who had been missing since Monday when her father, Arthur Morgan III, 27 picked her up for a court approved visitation. Morgan never returned the child to the mother.
Tierra Morgan was found by a group of teenagers, who said the child was "“partially submerged in a stream on or near the property of Shark River Park” in Wall.
Imani Benton, Tierra's mother, said she was informed about the death of her daughter around 6:45pm Tuesday evening.
"She's dead," Tierra's mother, Imani Benton told The Star-Ledger. "The detectives came to my door and told me she was dead in the woods. . .I don't know what I'm going to do," Benton said from the emergency room of a hospital in Toms River.
The child's father, Arthur Morgan III of Ocean Township NJ, had picked her up Monday afternoon to go to a movie during a visitation, but the two never returned, the girl's grandmother told the Asbury Park Press Tuesday night. It was the first visit he'd had with Tierra in a month, according to the report.
A warrant was issued for Arthur Morgan III on endangering the welfare of a child and interference with custody. In a press conference today, authorities confirmed Morgan's charges have been upgraded to murder.
Morgan is still at large. Investigators nationwide continue to search for him.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Brian Haggerty of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-814-3460; Lakehurst Officer Jeffrey Emmons at 848-992-1420; Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Michael Clancy at 732-577-8700; Ocean Township Detective Michael Legg at 732-531-1800; or Wall Detective Heath Bono at 732-449-4800.
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