On July 1st, 2014, the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office began conducting an investigation regarding the disappearance of Talaija Dorsey.  Talaija is a 12 year old girl who is from St. James, Louisiana.  Her mother reported her being missing after waking up on the morning of July 1st, 2014 and discovering her daughter was not in their home.  After searching her house, and nearby houses belonging to relatives, Talaija’s mother contacted the sheriff’s office when she could not locate her daughter.  Detectives began to interview both family and friends in an attempt to develop leads.  In addition to the investigation, a massive search and rescue operation was undertaken to locate the whereabouts of Talaija.  In a coordinated effort involving the St. James Sheriff’s Office, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police Department, the Louisiana State Police, and the F.B.I. Task Force, the community of St. James was flooded with assets all tasked with the sole purpose of locating Talaija.  Numerous A.T.V.’s and two helicopters were utilized to aid in searching areas that were difficult to access.  In addition to the search being conducted by law enforcement, numerous concerned citizens volunteered to help in the search for Talaija.  As of July 2nd, 2014, the search is still ongoing. 

As the investigation into the disappearance of Talaija moved forward, St. James detectives developed a person of interest on July 1st, 2014.  Through their investigation, sheriff’s detectives obtained an arrest warrant for John D. Celestine (B/M, DOB 10/25/1971, 8303 Pecan Street, St. James, LA) charging him with LA R.S. 14:130.1 Felony Obstruction of Justice and LA R.S. 14:403.3(C) Reports of missing children; false reports or communications.  John D. Celestine is the fiancÌÄå© of Talaija’s mother, and is residing with them in the same home.  Due to the potential of additional charges, elements of the investigation involving John Celestine are not being released.  He is currently incarcerated at the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office Jail in Convent, LA awaiting bond.

Anyone having information regarding the location of Talaija Dorsey, or information involving her disappearance, should please contact the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office at 225-562-2200.

Released by:  Sheriff Willy J. Martin, Jr.