- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A 5-year-old girl whose body was found in an abandoned trailer in Mississippi had been strangled, a coroner said Friday.

Janaya (juh-NAY-uh) Thompson was last seen by her family Wednesday night outside their apartment in Gulfport. A search dog helped find her body Thursday morning in the bathroom of a trailer that was about a five-minute walk from the apartment complex.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said Friday that Janaya died of “asphyxiation due to strangulation.” He would not release other details from an autopsy.

Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said two men were being questioned as “persons of interest” in the capital murder investigation, but neither had been charged in the child’s death. The investigation continues.

Janaya lived near the elementary school where she was to start kindergarten in a few weeks. Police said that when she was last seen, her hair was in a ponytail and she was wearing a white “Hello Kitty” T-shirt and white sweat pants with purple and yellow rainbows.

“She was very sweet, talkative and never met a stranger. She was real lovable,” her aunt, Greta Hinton, told The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/1sxFhmX ).

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