HARVEY, La. - The body of a six-year-old, who has been missing since Saturday, was found in a dumpster near the end of the apartment complex where she lived, according to the mother of the child.
Ahlittia North was last seen by her parents when they put her to bed on Friday night. Her stepfather awoke the next morning to find that North had vanished overnight, along with a queen-sized blanket, a toothbrush and toothpaste. It was unclear if she wandered out of the apartment alone or if she was abducted.
North's body was discovered around 1 a.m. Tuesday, her mother said. Deputies returned to the apartments in the 2900 block of Destrehan Avenue to question neighbors about whether they had heard or seen anything related to the dumpster.
"I woke up to the detectives knocking on the door around 1:30, 1:40-something in the morning. So, I'm figuring something was really going on, because they wouldn't be knocking on nobody's door this time in the morning. So I came out and I answered the questions for them. They asked me did I see anybody move garbage cans. I threw up when I found out, I ain't going to even lie. I threw up when I found out the little girl was missing, because, I'm going to be real, it could be my niece, nephew, anybody," said neighbor Janeisheia Biagas.
On Monday, JPSO released the identity of a person of interest in relation to North's disappearance. Matthew Flugence, 20, is the nephew of North's stepfather, according to the sheriff's office. His exact connection to the case was unclear.
In an unrelated incident, Flugence has an outstanding warrant against him for an alleged sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl. He lives in the same block of Destrehan Avenue as North's family, JPSO said.
"Flugence remains a person of interest, and we have yet to locate him," according to JPSO Col. John Fortunato.
The Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office performed North's autopsy on Tuesday. It should reveal the cause of death and shed some light on the condition of the body,
The search for the girl was massive and involved several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
During the search, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office set up a mobile command center near the apartment complex.
The dumpster was removed from the scene around 5 a.m., according to neighbors.
Around 6:30 a.m., neighbors and community members started a makeshift memorial near North's home. By noon, it was filled with stuffed animals, toys and flowers.
At 7 a.m., a dozen more deputies showed up on scene and blocked off a larger portion of the apartment complex with crime tape. FBI agents also showed up around the same time.