Missing child found dead; Dad charged with murder

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Doug Walker – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The father of a three-year-old boy whose body was found in the woods of Jackson County Wednesday is now charged with two counts of murder.

Wednesday morning, more than 70 searchers combed a five mile stretch of woods along Highway 57, 12 miles north of Vancleave, looking for the body of Chase DeBlase. At the same time, a similar search was underway in Citronelle, Alabama for the remains of Chase's sister, five-year-old Natalie DeBlase.

Their father, John DeBlase, told investigators he buried his kids in the woods in June, and gave the search teams specifics on where they could be found.

Around 10:30am, the remains of a child were found about 30 feet off the east end of Highway 57. It was the news everyone expected, but never wanted to hear.

"What we found here is what we believe to be the boy, Jonathan DeBlase, that we were looking for," Mobile police officer Chris Levy said. "It was found in a situation that was consistent that he had given us prior to us coming out here and searching."

John DeBlase, the father of the young victim, remains jailed in Mobile.

"Anybody that does this to a child, hell's not hot enough in my opinion," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd. "It's just sad, but it's just pure evil. That's the way I feel about it."

The children's stepmother is being held in Kentucky on child abuse charges in the case. Levy said police aren't ready to prepare charges that she killed either of the children.

Investigators are glad there is at least some closure in this case, and hope that justice will be served in the end. The evidence in the case will be turned over to the Mobile County district attorney.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.