The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an Amber Alert for 4-month-old Zaylee Grace Fryar, last seen Sunday, May 1, with her mother Shauna.
Metro police Tuesday afternoon said the body pulled Saturday night from the Cumberland River near the Jefferson Street Bridge in downtown Nashville was that of the young girl’s 28-year-old mother, who was reported missing from her Millersville, Tenn., home last Thursday. Authorities now hope the public might be able to provide helpful information.
Shauna Fryar’s husband, who is not Zaylee Fryar’s father, reported his wife missing to Millersville police on Thursday, May 5, telling them that when he returned from the store on May 1 his wife and the infant were gone. But it wasn’t unusual, he told police, for her to be gone from home for a few days at a time.
Millersville Police Chief Ronnie Williams called the situation “very dire” and said the main goal of the investigation now is to find the infant before unraveling how the mother and child disappeared.
Once the TBI on Tuesday identified the body as Shauna Fryar’s, a Metro police helicopter began flying over the Cumberland River and it surrounding area looking for Zaylee Fryar, although there is no indication the child was in the water.
Investigators said they found the mother’s cell phone, purse and car as well as the baby’s diaper bag at their home on C Smith Road in Sumner County.
Zaylee Fryar’s biological father was incarcerated in a Robertson County Jail at the time of the disappearance and is not a suspect.
According to Williams, Shauna Fryar had a history of drug addiction and police were told she might have been trying to find illegal drugs when she went missing. She had six other children — the oldest being 12 years old — who lived with a grandparent.
Police said Shauna Fryar’s body was positively identified through fingerprints. There was no indication of obvious trauma to the body or indication about how Shauna Fryar died or whether she was alive before entering the river.
Investigators are still awaiting autopsy results.
Zaylee Fryar is described as a white female with black hair and brown eyes. She has a quarter-sized brown birthmark on her right leg.
Citizens with information about the whereabouts of the 4-month-old child are urged to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.