AFFTON, Mo. (AP) — Police investigating the death of a 13-month-old boy whose body was found near a cemetery in St. Louis County took a person into custody early Wednesday.
The person has not been booked into jail and police said in a news release that no further information would be released until the prosecuting attorney has reviewed the investigation into the death and disappearance of Tyler Dasher. Calls to the prosecutor's office early Wednesday went unanswered.
Tyler was reported missing from his home in the St. Louis suburb of Affton around 11 a.m. Tuesday. His mother, 20-year-old Shelby Dasher, told police that she had overslept that morning and discovered him gone from his crib when she awoke.
People walking a dog discovered Tyler's body a few hours later near the St. Marcus Cemetery, about a mile from the home where Tyler lived with his mother and grandmother, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said.
The medical examiner did not immediately determine the cause of death. Fitch declined to discuss the condition of the body at a news conference Tuesday.
Police considered the case an "abduction or apparent homicide" but have no idea of a motive, county police spokesman Rick Eckhard said in a written statement. Eckhard said he could not discuss further details of the investigation.
Fitch said Tyler's mother and father, who live separately, were both cooperating with police.
A long, wide area near the cemetery was cordoned off with yellow police tape. Police dogs sniffed the ground while officers placed barricades around the area where the small body was found. A small cluster of young adults cried and hugged as they watched from the cemetery. It wasn't clear if they were relatives of Tyler, and they declined interview requests.
The body was within about 100 feet of a busy road.
"It says to me it's a pretty sick person," Fitch said. "Anybody that would take a child and leave a child in a wooded area in that condition needs to be dealt with severely by the criminal justice system."
Police immediately suspected foul play because it was unlikely a 13-month-old could get himself out of his crib and wander from his home.
Fitch said police wanted to question a man wearing a dark hoody who was seen carrying a small child in a blanket on Tuesday along a wooded area not far from the family home.