(COLUMBIA, MO) - Two suspects have been arrested today in connection to the death of an infant whose remains were discovered in Columbia Aug. 15, 2019.

Staffone R. Fountain, 30, of St. Joseph, is charged with abandonment of a corpse and first-degree murder. He was arrested by the St. Joseph Police Department and is in custody there without bond.

Lavosha Monique Daniels, 28, of St. Louis, is charged with abandonment of a corpse and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She was arrested by U.S Marshals in St. Louis and is in custody there without bond.

Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said the Department's detectives never gave up on pursuing leads in the case. "One of our Detectives said it best. Our number one goal was to give this child a name and honor her memory, and that has happened."

"The child's name is Samone J. Daniels," Jones said. "We believe she was between four and five months old at the time of her death."

The investigation began Aug. 15, 2019, when Columbia Police responded to a call regarding a suspicious item found in the 1900 block of North Providence Road. Employees at that location found a small backpack inside a tire that contained the decomposed remains of an infant, along with clothing worn by the child.

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On June 14, 2022, Columbia Police were made aware of a letter found at a local hotel. The contents of the letter related to the investigation and provided a lead in identifying both the child and the suspects.

Jones said he was thankful for all the other agencies that supported the investigation, including the St. Louis Police Department, the St. Joseph Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Missouri Department of Social Services, Boone County Children's Division, Boone County Prosecutor and the forensic genealogists at Othram labs.

"We also are indebted to the community," Jones said. "They reported the incident in 2019. Because this stuck in Columbia's memory, a letter came to our attention. Samone had a lot of people pulling for her."

This is an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Department's Criminal Investigations Division. More information may become available at a later time.

If you know something, say something. Columbia Police are asking for your help. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to please contact the Columbia Police Department at 573.874.7652.

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To report a tip without including your name or contact information, call CrimeStoppers at 573.875.TIPS (8477). A tip that leads to an arrest or helps solve a felony crime could result in a cash reward.

Previous Press Release(s):

Columbia Police seek community help to identify remains of a baby found Aug. 15

Columbia Police provide an update on the infant remains found on Aug. 15

Columbia police partner with Othram taking a different approach to solving the 2019 Baby Doe Case, Sept. 22

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