INDIANAPOLIS (May 31, 2015) – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department moved their search for missing 3-month-old Janna Rivera to a landfill on the southwest side of Indianapolis Sunday morning, but they suspended the search around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Police were prompted to look for Janna’s remains in the landfill after the baby’s biological father tipped police that she was placed in a dumpster on the city’s east side.
“We believe that the baby was placed into a dumpster on the east side of Indianapolis on Friday morning,” said IMPD Lt. Richard Riddle. “That trash from the dumpster was transferred to a transfer station out in Mount Comfort. A search was done in Mount Comfort yesterday with negative results.”
Police searched the southwest side landfill because of trash patterns and the way trash is transferred.
According to Riddle, nearly 50 officers searched through a large amount of material at the landfill, but nothing of evidentiary value was recovered. An evidence technician was called to the scene to take pictures of the search area.
Investigators do not believe Janna is still alive. “We will not stop until we can determine what happened to baby Janna,” said Riddle.
Janna’s father was the last person to see her before her disappearance. Police believe her mother was at work and is not a person of interest.
IMPD said the girl's mother called 911 Friday morning just before 9 to report her daughter was missing. Police said initial 911 calls reported the baby was deceased.
Authorities conducted an air and ground search in the 4100 block of Candy Apple Boulevard. A diving crew with the Indianapolis Fire Department was called to search a retention pond behind the family's home. Bloodhounds were also brought in to assist with the effort.
Police said there was a language barrier with the girl's mother that prevented them from getting much information. The circumstances surrounding the baby's disappearance were unclear, although police said the baby wasn't there when the mother returned home. That is when she alerted police, they said. FOX59 spoke with the homeowner, who said the mother also called her to say the baby was deceased and that her boyfriend had taken her.
"She called me today to say that her daughter died and she didn't know what happened,said Yesenia Guerra.
Several hours into the search, police were able to obtain a search warrant for the family's house. Authorities also searched a garbage truck that was in the neighborhood.
Authorities called off the search after eight hours and focused their attention on the house. Crime scene investigators were seen carrying items out of the home.
"We were trying to do everything within our power during that first seven-to-eight hours to locate that child and we weren't able to do that," said Wilburn.
Investigators said the mother and her boyfriend were being questioned separately. The boyfriend has been named a person of interest in the case. The boyfriend is not the baby's father, police said.
Janna's mother returned home around 8:30 Friday evening.
As of Saturday morning, the search was still suspended. According to Wilburn, “We won't resume searching until we have more reliable tips and more concrete information.”
According to IMPD, officers are following up on all leads and conducting searches for baby Janna based upon information they received.
Wilburn said police are treating this case delicately because of the missing baby case involving Delano Wilson last summer.
Photos from Friday's search:
IMPD Officer Rafael Diaz shared this update on the case with our Latino audience in hopes to obtain more information as the investigation continues.
If you have any information, please call police or Crimestoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.