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A mother killed her 5-year-old daughter and hid the body, prosecutors in Syracuse say

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A New York woman was charged Monday with beating her 5-year-old daughter to death nearly three months ago and hiding the body, which has not been found.

Latasha Mott, 29, of Syracuse, was arraigned on charges of manslaughter and disposal of a corpse in the death of her daughter, Nefertiti Harris.

Prosecutors said Mott hit Nefertiti with a belt multiple times while the girl was in the shower on Jan. 6, killing her, adding she then hid the body.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reported that Syracuse police were searching in fields and woods on Monday, including with a drone.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told the newspaper that the investigation started Sunday when family members who were worried about Nefertiti's whereabouts contacted police.

He said police questioned Mott and she confessed to killing the child and hiding the body in a wooded area.

Mott pleaded not guilty on Monday. Her attorney, Don Kelly, said she was in custody, held on $500,000 cash or a $1 million bond. However, he said it was premature for him to comment any further on the case, which he received on Monday.

“It’s way too early for me to even make any assessment in respect to the case," Kelly told The Associated Press by phone.