Coroner: Still no cause of death after 12-year-old Talaija Dorsey found dead

(WVUE) - The St. James Parish Coroner says they still have not determined the cause of death after a 12-year-old girl was found dead Sunday morning.

Dr. Randall Poche says they are continuing to classify the death as a homicide.

Talaija Dorsey, 12, was found by the St. James Sheriff's Office around 10:20 a.m. near the edge of a sugar cane field behind a patch of tall grass, according to Sheriff Willy Martin. The body was discovered after a six-day search.

Martin said that the search for Dorsey took an emotional toll on everyone involved.

"People go out and hurt each other all the time, but when it's a child there's a difference," Martin said. "It hits home for everybody."

Martin said that multiple law enforcement agencies worked "day and night" on the search to find Dorsey including the St. James Sheriff's Office, the FBI, State Police and "just about every police department within a 100 mile radius."

Martin said that the effect on the community has been tremendous. "This is unprecedented; we've never had to deal with anything like this in quite some time."

Dorsey's mother's fiance, 42-year-old John Celestine, is currently being held by police on an Obstruction of Justice charge related to the case. According to Martin, he is now a suspect in Dorsey's disappearance and death.

Martin said that the investigation is far from over. "We're not finished. We've got a lot of work left. We will continue until we bring some justice to Talaija's family."

The state crime lab and St. James detectives are working to identify a cause of death.

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