A 5-year-old missing Ohio boy has been found dead, and his foster mother has been arrested and charged with his murder, the Columbus Division of Police announced at a Friday morning press conference.

Darnell Taylor had been missing since Wednesday, and police feared for his safety after his foster mother, Pammy Maye, 48, woke her husband up in their Columbus home to tell him the boy had been hurt. She then fled the scene in a Jeep Cherokee, and a statewide Amber Alert was issued for Taylor at around 5:10 a.m.

Taylor was found dead by police in a sewage drain in the 1000 block of Marsdale Avenue, in southwest Columbus, at around 1 a.m. Friday morning after Maye told the Columbus Division of Police about his whereabouts.

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Police had arrested Maye in the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn on Thursday at around 9:40 p.m. wearing a nightgown, and she was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. Her vehicle had been found in the nearby Parkview Estates apartment complex. Brooklyn is about 150 miles from Columbus.

“We have reached a pivotal point in this investigation, we have some very unfortunate news to share,” Chief Elaine R. Bryant said at the press briefing.

“This is a tragic development….this is not the outcome that we wanted but we are going to make sure that we can do everything we can to bring justice for Darnell.”

Bryant said police could not provide details about the boy’s death, given the case is now a homicide investigation. 

The jeep Maye was believed to be driving was found in the parking lot of a Brooklyn, Ohio, apartment complex a few hours after the Amber Alert was issued. The vehicle was about 150 miles from the home in Columbus where the situation first began.

Police deliver news

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Maye’s husband had called 911 shortly before 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to a court document seen by WCMH, Maye’s husband told a 911 operator that she killed the child, allegedly saying the boy was no longer alive and had not been seen since Monday or Tuesday.

The document said while he was on the phone with dispatchers, Maye tried to cover her husband’s mouth while telling him she had a plan, WCMH reports.

She then fled their Columbus house during the call.

Darnell Taylor and Pammy Maye split

 

Her husband also said in the call that she suffered from bipolar disorder, a mental illness that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.

Maye was also charged with first-degree felony kidnapping and third-degree felony endangering children.

The couple had been Taylor’s legal guardians since May.

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