GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A missing Gwinnett County 8-year-old girl's mother and her mother's partner are now set to face charges after the young child was tragically found dead in DeKalb County on Tuesday morning.
After days of searching, authorities found Amari Hall's lifeless body in the woods near the Stone Mill Trace neighborhood.
Here's a timeline of what we know in the case so far:
Sunday, Nov. 21
9 a.m. - The Gwinnett County Police Department receives a call from a woman who is said to be "extremely concerned for her daughter's safety," claiming she hadn't seen her daughter in hours and didn't know where she could be.
Brittany Hall told officers her 8-year-old's name is Nicole, but she likes to go by her middle name, Amari. Brittany and Amari have been staying at the HomeTowne Studios hotel in the Peachtree Corners area for nearly three months.
The 27-year-old mother reportedly told authorities her daughter, diagnosed with autism, was there when she fell asleep sometime between midnight and 1 a.m., but she hadn't been seen since.
11:57 a.m. - Gwinnett Police say they need the public's assistance in locating Amari. A missing person notice is sent to media outlets, stating the 4-foot-10 little girl was wearing a Tweety-Bird jacket and a blue and white pajama set when she went missing from 7049 Jimmy Carter Boulevard early in the morning.
A search ensues for Amari. Helicopters, K-9 units, and the Division of Family and Children Services are all participating in a large-scale operation that police later tell 11Alive would be active all day.
"We conducted door-to-door searches. We conducted an extensive search, and there was no sign of Amari," Gwinnet County Police Chief J.D. McClure later said during a press conference.
4:30 p.m. - Authorities grow worried as the night grows colder and darker. Gwinnett Police say they do not have any significant leads thus far, but still do not believe there are signs of foul play.
"Miss Hall is new to the area, so she doesn’t have a lot of friends or family she would reach out to," Cpl. Kylie Boney said. "Officers are just patrolling the area, searching the woods, searching different businesses trying to figure out where she could have gone. Wherever she is, I trust that the public, alongside the police department and our resources, we can locate Nicole and try and give the family some answers.”
Monday, Nov. 22
10:15 p.m. - After nearly 34 hours of an extensive sweep, the search for the 8-year-old girl comes to a halt. Authorities now say they believe Amari is in danger and prepare to continue searching on Tuesday morning at daybreak.
Tuesday, Nov, 23
10:45 a.m. - The search for 8-year-old Amari Hall comes to a heartbreaking end. Police find the body of the young girl in DeKalb County wooded area by the Stone Mill Trace neighborhood.
"Unfortunately, these are not the results we hoped for," McClure said.
McClure said the investigation found that Amari was never, in fact, missing. Police have not yet detailed precisely what they believe happened to the girl.
The police chief said Brittany, Amari's mother, was already in custody on child cruelty charges when they found the girl's body, according to jail records. Her mother's partner, Celeste Owens, will face a murder charge, police said, clarifying the 29-year-old has also already been arrested.
Brittany is set to be charged with concealing the death of another, police revealed.
"My heart goes out to the extended family of Amari Hall," McClure said. "We worked diligently on this case."
Police said DFCS took two other small children -- both younger than Amari -- who were living with Brittany and Owens.
Arrest records obtained by 11Alive show Hall is facing a charge for falsely reporting a crime and Owens is charged with making false statements. The 27-year-old mother is also facing several felony charges of child cruelty stemming from incidents in July, according to warrant documents.
Brittany is accused of physically abusing her three children and records show it was caught on video. The warrants allege she slapped one child several times on the back and face, going as far as punching and kicking a child.