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N.J. girl found dead in stream, still in car seat

Updated at 12:16 p.m. ET

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Authorities are looking for the father of a New Jersey toddler who was found dead in her car seat, partially submerged in a stream, saying they want to question him about her death.

Two-year-old Tierra Morgan lived in Lakehurst with her mother and was having a court-approved visit with her father on Monday, but he never brought her back.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office says Arthur Morgan III, 27, of Ocean Township, is wanted for questioning in his daughter's death. She was found still strapped into her car seat in a park stream Tuesday afternoon in Wall Township, about 20 miles north of where she lived.

Thirteen law enforcement agencies ranging from local police to the FBI are involved in the investigation. The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office is the lead agency because Tierra's body was found in their jurisdiction.

The toddler was discovered by children playing in Shark River Park, said Christopher Gramiccioni, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. They notified park rangers, who called police.

A 911 call was received by police at 2:28 p.m., saying that "student-aged children came across what they were concerned was a child in the creek," Gramiccioni said.

Police found the girl's body, still strapped in a car seat, partially submerged in the creek, which is a tributary of the nearby Shark River. The creek is between 3 and 7 feet deep in the area that the body was found, near a roadway overpass about 15 feet above the creek.

A warrant from Ocean County charging Morgan with child endangerment and interference with custody was issued before the girl's body was found. Bail has been set at $200,000 for his eventual arrest on the endangerment charge.

An autopsy was to be performed Wednesday to determine the child's cause of death.

Authorities believe Morgan may have left the state. Numerous transit-related police departments, including NJ Transit, Amtrak, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service are assisting in the search for him, covering train and bus stations, airports, and highway bridges and tunnels.

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