A body believed to be that of a missing 2-year-old girl from Lakehurst was found Tuesday afternoon in Shark River Park, authorities said.
The body of a small girl was found partially submerged in a stream of the Shark River by teens walking in the park early afternoon Tuesday, First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said.
Gramiccioni would not say whether the girl found was Tierra Morgan, who has been missing since Monday when she did not return home from a visitation with her father. Gramiccioni said only authorities believe it to be the Lakehurst girl, and that an autopsy would be conducted Wednesday.
Shark River Park, on Schoolhouse Road, occupies 924 acres bordering Wall, Neptune and Tinton Falls.
The park was the site of an unidentified crime scene, where throngs of police and law enforcement authories have been seen poring over the park since mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Authorities were not saying why they were there. Wall Township Police Chief Robert Brice directed questions to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
The girl was expected back in her mother's custody by 7 p.m. Monday after a court-approved visitation with her father, 27-year-old Arthur Morgan III, who is believed to live in Ocean Township, said Executive Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Michel A. Paulhus in a statement.
When the visitation period concluded, the girl was not returned to her mother, who was not identified by authorities.
Authorities said that the girl has not been seen since Monday when she was picked up by her father.
Morgan has been charged with the second degree offense of endangering the welfare of a child and interference with custody, which Paulhus said becomes a second degree offense if the girl is not returned within 24 hours. A warrant for Morgan's arrest has been set at $200,000 with no 10 percent option by Judge Francis R. Hodgson.