PENSACOLA, Fla. (CBS/AP) Florida Panhandle authorities believe the human remains discovered in a storage unit Friday are those of an 11-year-old disabled girl who may have been missing since at least 2007.
Escambia County deputies in the Pensacola area only began searching last month for Tia McShane, who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair, after her father learned that his estranged wife had died in June. He then reported her missing to the Sheriff's Office, reports the Pensacola News Journal.
Authorities say the unit where it is believed Tia's remains were discovered was rented by her mother, Alicia McShane.
Neighbors told The Pensacola News Journal that the mother turned the girl over to foster care in Alabama, but according to the publication, Alabama officials didn't have any records to verify that.
William McShane last saw his daughter when she was just 3-years-old, reports the paper. Once the body was found, McShane was faced with the thought that the remains could be his beloved daughter.
"I don't want to think it's a possibility. With a little girl in her position -- being disabled -- I don't want to think about it that way. I want to think that at least her mom had the decency to get her, my child, some kind of help, if she couldn't take care of her."
The Sheriff's Office reports that the child's Medicaid has not been used since 2006, and that was the last time she saw a doctor.
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