Woman found dead inside home of missing 1-year-old identified as child’s mother

Ansonia Police Department(ANSONIA, Conn.) -- A body found inside the home of a missing 1-year-old Connecticut girl has been identified as the child's mother, police said Thursday.

Christine Halloway, 43, was found dead on Monday night in an Ansonia home where she and her daughter Vanessa Morales lived, according to Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch.

However, the baby was nowhere to be found.

Lynch said the priority of the investigation is bringing Vanessa home safely.

"We just want to know where she is and she is safe and well," he said in a press conference.

He said authorities are following several leads into both the homicide and missing child.

Vanessa's aunt, Anna, begged for her niece's safe return in the same press conference.

"Help bring Vanessa home safely," she said through tears.

She asked anyone with information on Vanessa's whereabouts to contact Ansonia police or the FBI.

Police are searching through a donation center in Hamden, located about 13 miles west of Ansonia, according to Lynch.

Evidence is being recovered, he said, but he would not go into details.

Lynch said Vanessa's father is cooperating.

He made a point to note that police are not looking to arrest anyone.

"Whatever circumstances that they have Vanessa, just bring her back," Lynch said.

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