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UPDATE: Body found in Houston bayou believed to be missing 2-year-old; ‘foul play’ suspected

A jogger found the body of a child floating in a bayou in southwestern Houston Sunday, and police say they believe it is that of missing 2-year-old Maliyah “Tootie” Bass, KHOU reports.

“We believe that although we can’t confirm it’s her, we believe there’s a high probability of it being her,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “We don’t want to give people false hope. We want to hold on to a little hope, but we want to prepare for the worse.”

Maliyah was last seen playing in the playground of the Sunset Crossing apartments in southwest Houston. The body was found in Bray’s Bayou, about a mile from the apartments

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Acevedo said his department is conducting a murder investigation.

“We really believe this is foul play,” the chief said, asking that anyone in the area with a security camera to check their footage for suspicious activity.

Searchers reportedly drained a pool at the apartment complex because the water was too cloudy to see the bottom, but the girl was not found there.

Bass is described as about 3 feet tall, weighing approximately 38-40 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, according to KTRK-TV. She was last seen wearing a multi-colored tank top with multi-colored shorts, and may have been carrying a white and pink pillowcase with letter blocks inside.

A woman described as Bass’ grandmother told KTRK-TV that the girl also may have been wearing blue shoes.

“I just want my baby back. She didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to bring her back,” the woman told the television station.

Anyone with information is urged to call Houston Police at 832-394-1840.

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