Baby missing after mom and 2 others slain on Kansas farm
A Franklin County Sheriff's deputy talks on a cellphone Monday outside the Kansas farm where three people were found slain and missing baby girl Lana Bailey was last seen.
Authorities are searching for a baby girl who hasn't been seen for more than a week and whose mother was found slain with two men on a Kansas farm.
The bodies of Kaylie Bailey, 21, Andrew Stout, 30, and Steven White, 31, were discovered at the farm in Ottawa, eastern Kansas, on Monday.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department said in an emailed statement issued Wednesday evening that the three victims were identified following a forensic examination.
There was no sign of Bailey’s 18-month-old child Lana Leigh at the farm.
A man was taken into custody in connection with the murders, but had not been charged, NBC station KSHB.com reported Wednesday. Another man, who asked not to be identified, told the station that he had been questioned but then released.
Bailey and Lana, of Olathe, Kansas, were both last seen at the farm on May 1. Family members told KSHB.com that she had planned to leave Lana with Stout while she worked a nightshift job. Friends of Bailey's have said she and Stout had a relationship, The Associated Press reported.
They were reported missing on Friday by her family after Bailey failed to show up for work.
“We are going to continue to look for Lana … Right now our focus is going to be finding this child,” Franklin County Sheriff Jeffrey Richards told reporters on Wednesday this week.
"Please bring her back to us," Lana's aunt Shawna Pettijohn told KSHB.com. "We're focused on getting her back."
Pettijohn described Lana’s habits in the hope it might help people recognize the girl, the station said. "She loves holding things up to her heart and saying 'I', she loves clapping her hands," Pettijohn said. "She'll make you work hard for a smile, but it is always worth it."
Kaylie Bailey's grandmother, Wilma Pettijohn, told the AP in a telephone interview Wednesday that Kaylie and Lana Bailey lived with her and her husband, Andy, in Olathe.
She added that the family has been "kind of preparing for the last day or two" for the news that her daughter was among the three killed at the farm.
Pettijohn told the AP that Lana was "cheerful and playful, strong-minded" and said the child's mother was a "very sweet girl," though she could be "somewhat naive maybe in the people she associated with sometimes."
"She liked for people around her to get along, not fuss or say hateful things," Pettijohn added of Bailey. "Just really loving and caring that way. She thought the world of her baby. She loved her dearly."
Pettijohn told the AP the family has a variety of nicknames for the missing baby, from "sunshine" to "sweetheart or darling or lovely little adjectives." She said the family was hopeful the baby will be returned to them. "Everything in the house reminds us of her," Pettijohn said. "It's just a lot of pain between here and OK."
The sheriff’s department statement said Lana had brown hair, blue eyes and was about 2 feet tall and 30 pounds.
The department said it had asked for an Amber Alert to be issued for Lana, but Kansas Bureau of Investigation declined the request because it was made too late, and "utilizing the Emergency Alert System ... would not enhance coverage" in finding the little girl, KSHB.com reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.