Five days after going missing, there's still no sign of a 12-year-old girl from St. James Parish. As more and more time goes by, Talaija Dorsey's family says they're still holding out hope she'll be found alive.
Despite a massive search, deputies in St. James Parish are hitting a brick wall in their effort to find Dorsey. Sheriff Willy Martin, Jr. explains, "We haven't come up with anything. We're still today just as puzzled about her whereabouts as we were the first day she disappeared."
Investigators are focusing on the fiance' of the child's mother, John Celestine. He was arrested this week on obstruction of justice charges. "We felt like he was being not totally forthcoming, not giving us accurate information," said Martin.
Talaija was reported missing Tuesday morning and last seen Monday night inside her Pecan Street home. Her aunt, Lerna Harris, says, "I believe she's alive just being held somewhere."
Harris says she and others feel helpless as they wait for word, commenting, "It's been very hard. It's put a strain on the family."
Earlier in the week, the little girl's mother, Emma Smith told FOX 8, "I feel like a big part of me is missing and I just need to know where she is and how she's doing and to give her a hug and a kiss."
In addition to searching nearby sugar cane fields and wooded areas, the sheriff's office is also now looking at the river. "We asked the port of South Louisiana to assist us and they put some patrols along the riverbank," said the Sheriff.
Authorities are also asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to contact them. Sheriff Martin explains, "If there's anyone out there that saw a vehicle doing something weird, doing something that caught your attention, parked on the side of the road early morning, driving fast, anything, we want the information."
Meanwhile, Talaija's family continues to pray for her and they hope John Celestine speaks up. "We wish that he would give the information that they need. I mean it's time that he allow her to come home," said Lerna Harris.
John Celestine is still in custody. In addition to St. James Parish deputies, authorities from other parishes are also helping in the search.