Missing toddler from Joplin tornado found at morgue: father

Reuters News
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Posted: May 26, 2011 12:19 PM
Missing toddler from Joplin tornado found at morgue: father

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - A 16-month-old boy who went missing in the Joplin, Missouri, tornado and drew national attention has been found in a morgue, his father said on Thursday.

Skyular Logsdon, pulled from his mother's arms when the Sunday twister struck their house, has been identified by a great aunt who knew him well, Cord Logsdon, the boy's father, told Reuters in a phone interview on Thursday.

Logsdon and his father, John Logsdon, were in the process Thursday of going to identify the boy or look at a picture of him. Cord Logsdon was released from Mt. Carmel Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas on Wednesday.

"It's tough," an emotional Logsdon said as he handed the phone over to his father.

"We're going to hang in there," John Logsdon, the father, said.

A massive tornado on Sunday devastated the city of 50,000. Frustration was growing Friday that people were still unaccounted for and some bodies had not been identified.

At least 125 died in the Joplin storm and more than 900 were injured at last count. Search crews were still looking for victims in the miles of rubble left by the tornado, which packed winds of 200 miles an hour.

The search for the boy and reports of his death have drawn thousands of notes of support and sympathy on a Facebook page.

Skyular's mother, Carol Jo Tate, remains hospitalized in fair condition in Pittsburg, said hospital spokesman Michael Hayslip. He said a nurse was told by a relative of the boy last night that he had been found in a morgue.

Skyular's parents were both home when the tornado struck. Tate was holding the boy in her arms, said Tate's mother, Missy Burnes. The house was getting torn apart around them, she said.

"She remembers getting her arm broken and things flinging around the house," Burnes told Reuters Thursday. Tate lost hold of the baby and she was thrown unconscious from the house, Burnes said. She thought she saw the baby a few feet away before passing out but is not sure, Burnes said.

Burnes said relatives on Tate's side of the family have still not been given access to the morgue to identify Skyular for themselves.

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Jerry Norton)