HOUSTON - A Sunday morning jog led to a disturbing discovery on Brays Bayou in the Gulfgate area.
Houston Police say around 10:30 Sunday morning, a jogger spotted a body in the bayou and called police.
The discovery happened a little over 24 hours after a Houston mother reported her daughter missing.
RELATED: Regional AMBER Alert issued for missing 2-year-old girl
Saturday morning, Sahara Ervin says her 2-year-old daughter Maliyah Bass was playing at their apartment complex playground as she watched from their window. She says she looked away for a moment, and suddenly her daughter was gone.
“This is really devastating to me. Who could be watching my baby to even snatch her from the park?” says Ervin snapping her fingers, “just like that and bring her all the way out here?”
Ervin says she called police right away. An AMBER alert went out overnight, and Houston Police, K-9 teams, a search helicopter, and Texas Equusearch were all enlisted to find the 2-year-old.
But after a body was pulled from the water, Ervin says that took all hope that her daughter would be found alive.
“They should of took me. They found my baby on an orange float floating down the bayou,” she says.
HPD won’t confirm if the body is that of the missing toddler, but officers are preparing for a murder investigation, and say the family should prepare for the worse.
“Based on what we know, based on missing children, although we can’t confirm for sure, it’s a high probability it will be her,” says Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo during a press briefing Sunday afternoon.
RELATED: Child's body found in Brays Bayou, police say 'high probability' it's missing 2-year-old
The discovery happened 18 miles from where Maliyah disappeared. Her mother says they had to drive 45 minutes to the crime scene in the neighborhood near Fonde Park.
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However, HPD noted that Brays Bayou also runs within a mile of Maliyah’s apartment complex.
While talking to reporters, the family was still trying to sort out how the little girl nicknamed “Tootie” could have ended up so far from home.
“That’s why I work with my baby every day on her colors, her 1,2,3’s, ABC’s, what’s your name,” says Ervin’s boyfriend Travion Thompson. “I say ‘where is the house’ just so she can know how to get back to the house in case anything happens.”
Ervin says they are waiting on autopsy results but are already preparing to make funeral plans. In her grief, she leaves a word of advice for other parents.
“Do not leave your kid unattended...watch your kids, lock your doors,” she says.
Investigators say they will pull info on the flow of the river, but because of its length, they need anyone with security cameras along Brays Bayou to take a look at their security footage and contact police at 713-222-TIPS if they see anything suspicious.