FBI Issues Alert For Father As Toddler Is Laid To Rest [AUDIO]
The FBI says the fugitive father of a Lakehurst toddler who was tossed into a creek still strapped in her car seat has ties to California and Texas and has issued a crime alert for the arrest of Arthur Morgan III on a murder charge in the death of 2-year-old Tierra Morgan-Glover.
Authorities say the 27-year-old took his daughter for a court-approved visit on Nov. 21. Her body was found the next day in her car seat, which was partially submerged in a stream in Wall Township. Her cause of death was listed as homicidal violence.
The FBI says the stream runs beneath an overpass, suggesting the child and the car seat were thrown from the overpass.
Morgan was added this past weekend as a featured fugitive on '"America's Most Wanted" website.
The toddler, whose smile was so widely known among congregants that they dubbed her "the church baby" was laid to rest Monday.
Dozens of mourners exited Cathedral International Church of Asbury Park, still emotional from the service. Mable Denise Junior was one of the extended family in attendance, however she notes that it wasn't just family and friends that were hit hard by the death of the toddler.
"When I mention it to a friend of mine how I was affected by it [Tierra's death] they say 'Denise, everyone in the community is affected."
Junior notes that the very notion of the death is still shocking to her, especially in the close knight community.
"You always hear it on the news, especially if you're getting ready to go to work and something like this is happening in New York I will think "who does this?" I never thought that it would hit home."
During a videotaped eulogy, Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr. tried to comfort mourners. "As she was placed into that creek, an angel caught her," Hilliard said. "She did not suffer at all."
Many of family members and mourners declined to speak with reporters outside the church.
The girl's mother, Imani Benton, was helped into the church, supported on either side by relatives. She held a bouquet of purple and white roses, which were later placed on Tierra's white casket.
Junior called the service "beautiful," saying though it provided some relief the memory of Tierra is something that will still be with everyone.
"I mean we can only do so much, it's still there with us, but we know she's in a better place. She was touched by an angel. That's all I can say."