Search ongoing for dead Kansas woman's daughter
OTTAWA -- Crews on foot, horseback and all-terrain vehicles resumed their search Friday for an 18-month-old girl who is presumed dead after the bodies of her mother and two men were found at an eastern Kansas farm.
The body of Lana's Leigh Bailey's mother, 21-year-old Kaylie Bailey, was discovered Monday at the Ottawa-area farm where she had gone to drop off her daughter with her friend Andrew Stout.
Friends who had went to check on Stout, 30, found Bailey's body and called 911. Authorities later found Stout's body as well as that of Steven E. White, 31, who also lived on the farm.
A 27-year-old convicted felon was being held on suspicion of first-degree murder in the deaths, though formal charges had not been filed as of early Friday afternoon. The man previously served prison time for shooting a former employer in 2005 after being fired, according to court records.
Franklin County Sheriff Jeffrey Richards planned a news conference later Friday after canceling one that had been scheduled for earlier in the day.
Richards has said Lana Bailey is presumed dead, but has not released any details.
Franklin County officials waited until they had identified Kaylie Bailey's body before requesting Wednesday afternoon that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation issue an Amber Alert for her missing daughter. The girl's disappearance had been widely reported by that time, and the agency rejected what they called a "delayed" request. The bureau did help disseminate information about Lana to the public, though.
Amber Alerts are issued in Kansas for children who are up to 17 years old or who have a proven mental or physical disability; law enforcement must believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death; or there must be information to disseminate to the general public that could assist the recovery of the victim or apprehension of the suspect.
Richards has said officials didn't think Lana's disappearance qualified for an Amber Alert until Kaylie Bailey's body was identified, noting that the girl was in her mother's care at the time of her disappearance last week.
"Maybe they had an idea of a lead that they felt would pan out," retired FBI special agent Jeff Lanza said. "But normally when you have a missing baby you put something out right away. I'm not sure what was going on behind that."