ST. JAMES, LA (WAFB) - A south Louisiana family is hoping for the best, but can't help but fear the worst, as they wait for the return of a little girl who has been missing since Tuesday and in the latest development, authorities reported an arrest in the case.
The St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office said John Celestine, 42, of St. James, is charged with felony obstruction of justice and false reports or communications in connection with the disappearance of Talaija Dorsey, 12. He is the fiancé of Dorsey's mother.
Dozens of faces from the community gathered at St. Luke Baptist Church to pray and sing for Dorsey.
“Just the support for the family, to show community support, to show the family that we love them and that we’re praying for Talaija to come home safely,” said one woman attending the vigil.
Dorsey was reported as being last seen by Celestine at her home on Pecan Street in St. James. Emma Smith, the missing girl’s mother, said Celestine was later taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies.
“He came back here last night while they were searching his car and they took him away in handcuffs,” Smith said.
The news is too much to bear for her. She said she is confused, angry and above all, desperate to hold her baby girl once again.
“I just want my baby back. That's all. I feel like a big part of me is missing and I need to know where she is and how she's doing and to give her a hug and I can't find my baby. It’s hard. It’s the worst feeling in the world not to know where your child is,” Smith explained.
Dorsey is 5'3" and weighs about 120 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. She went missing from her home around 4 a.m.
If anyone has information on her whereabouts, you are urged to call the St. James Parish Sheriff's Office at (225) 562-2200.