ST. JAMES, LA (WAFB) - Officials said the man who was arrested in connection with the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl, whose body was found Sunday, has now been charged in her murder.
The St. James Parish Sheriff's Office reported John Celestine, 43, of St. James, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Talaija Dorsey. He is the fiancé of the girl's mother.
The coroner has not yet released the cause of death. Dorsey's body was found at the edge of a sugarcane field in Vacherie on Sunday. She had been missing since July 1.
Celestine was initially arrested on charges of felony obstruction of justice and false reports or communications the day after Dorsey was last seen.
Just days before her body was found, investigators announced they were focusing their search along the route that Celestine took to work, specifically LA 3127, the same highway where Dorsey's body was found.
The FBI, Louisiana State Police and several sheriff's offices began searching areas where Celestine may have been. St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin said Celestine also liked to fish and there is a large canal near where the girl's body was located.