Police: 2-year-old girl found dead in woods was placed there

AP News
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Posted: Jun 15, 2015 5:51 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A 2-year-old girl found dead in a ravine had been placed there by someone because it was too far for her to walk by herself, a county police official said Monday, adding that authorities are investigating the case as a homicide.

Adrionna Williams, of Wilkinsburg, was discovered dead in a neighboring suburb about 40 minutes after her family reported her missing Sunday, Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said. She would have turned 3 next month.

A dog walker found the girl's body in a wooded ravine in Swissvale at around 7:45 p.m. Adrionna's family had reported her missing in Wilkinsburg at about 7:05 p.m., about 30 minutes after she was last seen alive, Schurman said.

"The investigation is ongoing and at this stage we do not believe the child was abducted by a stranger," Schurman said in a news release, without elaborating. Police have not identified or charged any suspects.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office conducted an autopsy Monday, but said the cause and manner of death were deferred pending further tests. Nonetheless, police were treating her death as a homicide, Schurman said.

Police didn't immediately say how far Adrionna's body was found from her home. But Schurman told KDKA-TV: "We do not believe the child walked there from her Wilkinsburg home. It's too far. We believe the child was placed there after her death."

Police are interviewing friends and relatives of Adrionna, trying to piece together her last hours alive and to determine what happened in the time between when she was last seen and her body was found, Schurman said.

The street next to the ravine where Adrionna was found has been closed to vehicles for some time but remained open to pedestrians, police said.