Police in Georgia say there's a "high probability" that the body of a small child found at a garbage collection site on Wednesday is that of missing 2-year-old J’Asiah Mitchell, and they're weighing additional charges against the boy's dad.
J’Asiah was last seen alive exactly one week before, on August 16, when his father — who has since been arrested for falsely reporting a crime — told authorities that the boy was kidnapped during an armed robbery.
East Point Police said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com that an unidentified small child was discovered Wednesday at around 1:30 p.m. at the East Point Transfer Station, a waste processing facility in Fulton County.
"We have not confirmed the identity of the child J'Asiah Mitchell," East Point Police stated. "However, there is high probability based on the circumstances surrounding this case. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken custody of the child to confirm positive identity.
"We are looking at the father as a possible suspect because he was the person last seen with the child," the police department added. "East Point Detectives are still investigating this case."
J'Asiah's father, 23-year-old Artavious North, was arrested on August 18 by the DeKalb County Police Department for making false statements, and the false report of a crime. "Our investigation found that there was no armed robbery nor kidnapping in DeKalb County," the department stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, that evening.
East Point Police Chief Shawn Buchanan said that North "has not been cooperative," according to NBC-affiliated Atlanta station WXIA. "He has been very elusive in his stories and very deceiving."
The police department said in a Friday update shared with Oxygen.com that the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office now has custody of the unidentified toddler's remains that were found Wednesday in East Point.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is helping with identifying the remains, the update continued. "Detectives with the East Point Police Department are meeting with the Fulton County District Attorney's Office as well as other agencies to discuss possible charges against Artavious North," the East Point Police Department stated. "Charges are pending until the positive identification of the remains is made."
On the morning of August 17, the DeKalb County Police Department put out an alert on Facebook, asking for the public's help in locating J'Asiah, and stating they were given information that he was kidnapped the night before at 11:23 p.m. near Flat Shoals Road. Later that morning, the department gave an update that the boy was last seen wearing Buzz Lightyear pajamas.
On 8:21 p.m. on August 17, the department stated in a separate post that, "Preliminary investigation has revealed that a kidnapping did not occur in DeKalb County. We are working through inconsistencies in the reporting of the alleged kidnapping."
DeKalb County police added that the investigation was evolving and that they were working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to check up on all leads in the case.
East Point Police have said that "digital information" led them to search the garbage transfer station where a child's body was located, according to WXIA.
WSB-TV, at Atlanta-based ABC-affiliated station, reported that J’Asiah’s mother, Asia Mitchell, and North were no longer in a relationship at the time the boy vanished.
A GoFundMe page created by Mitchell states that, "I’m informing everyone that we found Jasiah and we now have to lay him down to rest. I want to say thank you for all the support prayers and donations this was so so unexpected."
The grieving mom added, "I never thought I would have to do this but things happen for a reason Gods Plan."