New Jersey Mother Charged With Killing 23-Month-Old Son She Said Had Been Abducted

In addition to 1st-degree murder, Nakira Griner faces 2nd-degree endangering the welfare of a child, 2nd-degree desecration of human remains and fourth degree tampering with evidence charges

A New Jersey mother is charged with killing her 23-month-old son after initially telling police that he had been abducted, prosecutors said Saturday.

Nakira Griner, 24, was arrested Saturday morning after her child's body was found in the yard of the woman's Bridgeton home, the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office announced. Just hours earlier, shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday, she had called the Bridgeton Police Department to say the boy had been abducted.

After receiving word of the missing child, authorities set out on a manhunt to find the boy, even using New Jersey Park Police bloodhounds in their efforts, prosecutors said. But by around 3 a.m Saturday, Daniel Griner Jr.' s body was found in his mother's yard.

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A family friend told NBC10 that she was shocked by Griner's arrest. Crystal Castillo had not seen the little boy since before the holidays, and planned on stopping by Griner's house Saturday to drop off presents. Instead, she cried in shock and disbelief. 

"She is, like, the most genuine person in the whole world," Castillo said. "My kids were close with her and her kids were close with me. I just don't know what to do." 

In addition to 1st-degree murder, Nakira Griner faces 2nd-degree endangering the welfare of a child, 2nd-degree desecration of human remains and fourth degree tampering with evidence charges.

It is unclear if she has retained an attorney. She is being held at the Cumberland County Jail as she awaits a detention hearing.

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