Death of 2-year-old Nevaeh Allen ruled homicide, investigation continues

State News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Baton Rouge Police continue to investigate the disappearance and death of two-year-old Nevaeh Allen.

The search began on Friday, Sept. 24 evening after the child was last seen around noon in the 12600 block of La Belle Avenue near Florida Boulevard.

Phillip Gardner, the mother’s boyfriend, was arrested for his involvement in two-year-old Nevaeh Allen’s disappearance.

According to Baton Rouge Police Department, Gardner was arrested Saturday night and booked in East Baton Rouge Prison. Gardner has been charged with Unlawful Disposal of Remains and Obstruction of Justice. His bond was set at $75,000.

Phillip Gardner has been arrested for his involvement in Allen’s disappearance. Photo courtesy of EBRSO.

Nevaeh Allen’s body was found in Hancock County in Mississippi, police said. BRPD confirmed the body with the FBI, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and Gulf South Search and Rescue.

On Monday, Sept. 27, the EBR Coroner’s Office officially ruled the manner of death as a homicide. The official cause of death is pending.

Louisiana State Police said that Nevaeh was last seen by Gardner on Friday afternoon before he took a nap at 1 p.m. Authorities said Nevaeh’s siblings returned home after school at 4:15 p.m. to find the door open and the toddler was missing.

Navaeh was last seen wearing a yellow and pink dress with pineapples. Authorities described the child as 33″ tall, weighing about 30 pounds and without shoes.

Nevaeh Allen’s mother, Lanaya Cardwell, holds up a poster with her information and pictures. Cardwell says authorities aren’t doing enough to find her child. Photo courtesy of Vannia Joseph.

“Nevaeh is not known for wandering around,” said the mother. “I never once had to correct Nevaeh for even leaving the house without an adult.”

On Friday, Lanaya Cardwell pleads for help as the search for her daughter began.

Anyone who has information about this investigation is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 38-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225)-344-7867.

A candlelight vigil and balloon release honoring Navaeh will be taking place the weekend of Oct. 2-3 and a GoFundMe has been created to help the family cover funeral costs.

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