Search for Missing Mom, Shantina Smiley, Resumes

Photo: Search for Missing Mom, Shantina Smiley, Resumes: Autopsy to Determine Cause of Death of Missing Boys Body Conducted Today

The search for a missing mom Shantina Smiley resumed today, a day after the body of her young son was found washed up on a beach of Washington's Puget Sound.

Authorities had suspended the search for Smiley, 29, and her son on Thursday, but the hunt for Smiley began again today on the water and on nearby beaches. A Coast Guard craft and Pierce County sheriff's boats fanned out to search the waters around the island.

Shortly after the boy's body was discovered on Fox Island, one of many islands in the web of inlets that make up much of Puget Sound, police combed the beach for about 500 yards in each direction from the boy's body.

Officials are confident that the body recovered Thursday afternoon is that of Smiley's 8-year-old son Azriel Carver. The clothing matches what the boy was wearing when he disapeared and the vicitm has a mohawk haircut like Azriel.

"So far everything fits," Ryan Till, from the Pierce County Medical Examiner's office told ABC News. " We can't say with 100 percent certainty that it is him, but again, so far everything fits."

An autopsy on the child's body is schedule for today to determine cause of death and positive identification.

Smiley's fiance Robb Simmons said the news of the boy's death gave the family little hope for Smiley.

"We are grieving the loss of Azriel, and praying for Shantina. We are all severely hurting. We are getting the family together so we can grieve together, and so we can have some sort of peace right now," Simmons told KING-TV late Thursday.

The boy's father, Jay Carver, told the station, "You really don't know what you have in your life until they're gone. It's a sad turn of events."

The search for Smiley and Carver took an ominous turn Wednesday when an area resident found debris along the edge of the pond where Smiley's partially submerged van was found Sunday.

Simmons identified an orange ball, a shoe and an asthma inhaler found on the beach as belonging to Azriel. On Thursday, the boy's body was discovered.

Police and Smiley's family remain baffled about what happened last Saturday night after Smiley left with Azriel for the 120 mile drive from her home in Silverlake, Wash., to Smiley's stepfather's home in Castle Rock, Wash.

Surveillance cameras caught her as she became increasingly lost and her behavior became increasingly odd. About 8 p.m., the recovering alcoholic stopped at a store and bought a bottle of wine. A half empty bottle with the cork in it washed up on the beach along with Azriel's ball, shoe and asthma inhaler.

Earlier in the evening she stopped at a diner to buy a corn dog for her son, paid for and then left the corn dog behind. Cameras showed her tripping and falling he parking lot.

She also knocked on an elderly family's door for directions to the highway at one point, and then drove away in the opposite direction she was told to go.

Smiley's minivan was found partially submerged in water down a narrow steep road that police had difficulty finding during a daylight search of the vehicle.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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