DETROIT (FOX 2) - After a frantic search across the state that included several police agencies and nearly three agonizing days for family members, the body of Wynter Smith was discovered in an alleyway in Detroit.
Police located the Lansing 2-year-old in the early evening Wednesday in what was a heartbreaking development in the tragic story.
The investigation "has moved from a missing child to a homicide investigation," Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said in a brief statement to media later Wednesday.
Prior to her discovery, Smith had been missing since Sunday night after a 26-year-old man attacked her mom and kidnapped her. He's since been arrested and arraigned on several felonies.
"This is not the outcome we hoped for, and our hearts go out to Wynter's family," said FBI Special Agent Devin Kowalski. "We have the best people back there to do what is necessary, to be as respectful as possible to Wynter and her family."
Where was Wynter Smith found?
The missing 2-year-old's body was discovered on Detroit's east side in an alley near a house. The area was Knodell and Erwin streets east of Van Dyke and north of Harper.
Kowalski said Wednesday that FBI agents recovered Smith at approximately 6:50 p.m.
Before that, both local and state police had searched multiple locations around Michigan for known associates of the suspect Rashad Trice. They had conducted door knocks and drone flyovers, used K-9 units and heat-sensing cameras on helicopters.
A day after she went missing, police had urged the public to help them look for Smith, asking anyone with information or who may have seen something unusual on Trice's alleged route following Smith's kidnapping to contact law enforcement.
When was Wynter Smith taken?
The crime investigation began shortly after Trice took Smith from her home in Lansing on Sunday, July 2.
An Amber Alert was issued around 1 a.m. which was about an hour after Trice allegedly took Smith from the 3000 block of Beaujardin Drive in Lansing.
Originally, police were called out to the home on reports of a stabbing. There, they found a 22-year-old woman had been stabbed and physically assaulted. She was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries and was later released.
When Trice fled, he left in the victim's white Chevrolet Impala. He was eventually taken into custody early Monday morning after fleeing police before crashing into a St. Clair Shores police officer. He was hospitalized for days after the crash.
A day after the search started, the FBI announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to her return.
What is Rashad Trice charged with?
At the time of his arraignment, Smith's body had yet to be found.
Trice was charged Wednesday afternoon with assault with intent to murder, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, home invasion, unlawful imprisonment, domestic violence, unlawful driving away, and felonious assault.
He is also a habitual offender.
Following Smith's discovery, it's possible more charges could be on the way.
He's expected to be back in court for a pre-trial probable cause conference on July 13 and a preliminary hearing on July 20.
He was given no bond.