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OTTAWA, Kansas (AP) – A body has been recovered that is believed to be that of a missing 18-month-old girl whose mother was found dead along with two men at a Kansas farmhouse days ago, authorities announced Sunday.
Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said early Sunday that remains believed to be those of Lana Leigh Bailey – who had been presumed dead – were found Saturday in Osage County in eastern Kansas.
“It is with great sadness that I report a body found in Osage County, Kansas, is believed to be the remains of 18-month-old Lana Bailey,” Richards said in a statement he emailed to The Associated Press.
He said the body was found by an Osage County sheriff’s deputy who was scouring an area for items that could be connected to the deaths reported at the farmhouse May 6 in nearby Franklin County. The evidence collected Saturday when the body was found led investigators to believe it was the infant’s body, his statement said.
“We hope that a forensic examination will make a final identification,” Richards added.
Richards told The AP by telephone that he would not have additional information beyond his statement early Sunday.
The search crews had been using boats and sonar equipment but Richards did not say in his statement exactly where the body was found. Earlier authorities had said investigators were scouring ponds and other waterways in the area looking for the body of Lana Leigh Bailey.
Kyle Flack was charged Friday with capital murder in the deaths of Lana Bailey, her 21-year-old mother, Kaylie Bailey, and 30-year-old Andrew Stout. The 27-year-old convicted felon was also charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder in their deaths as well as the death of 31-year-old Steven White.
The investigation has included searching the farm and other rural areas in the 50-mile stretch between Ottawa and Emporia, where Kaylie Bailey’s car was found Tuesday.
Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hunting said Friday that a firearm was used against the victims recovered at the farm, but didn’t elaborate on whether that meant they were fatally shot. Authorities have not commented on a motive.
Richards said preivulsly that the extensive investigation has taken a toll and that members of the investigative team have required medical attention after searching in difficult areas. Others have sought counsel from a chaplain.