MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - UPDATE: 3:09 P.M. Thursday afternoon, Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. confirmed charges against Heather Leavell-Keaton will be upgraded. Keaton is the children's stepmother.
"I have given the authorization to charge her," Tyson told FOX 10 News.
Keaton was facing an abuse charge, but now she is facing two charges each for aggravated child abuse and abuse of a corpse.
"The paperwork is in the process of being completed," said Tyson.
He declined to comment on whether Keaton will face a murder charge.
"The case is still developing. That is all I am going to say," said Tyson.
Keaton is on her way to Mobile from Kentucky and expected to arrive by Sunday.
1:39 P.M. Jackson County, Mississippi District Attorney Tony Lawrence said Thursday he may file charges against John Deblase.The 27-year-old is accused of abusing his two children in Mobile County. Murder charges were added Wednesday in Alabama. Authorities said Deblase buried his daughter Natalie in Citronelle and son Chase in Vancleave, Mississippi.
Search teams found what is believed to be the boy's remains Wednesday in Jackson County.
"There are desecration of corpse laws in Mississippi. If the investigation reveals (Deblase) did that, charging him is a possibility," said Lawrence.
He also noted since Deblase is facing a felony murder charge in Mobile County, charging him in Jackson, County may not be necessary.
"We are willing to work with the Mobile County district attorney's office to make sure their investigation is solid," added Lawrence.
Mobile county prosecutors said Deblase will have another bond hearing for the new murder charges. That date has not been announced.
"He will go through the process all over again for the new charges we filed yesterday," said Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Jo Beth Murphree.
Around 11 a.m. Thursday, the Jackson County coroner's office released the boy's remains back to Mobile authorities.
"At this time, their forensic investigators will review the remains. I am not able to comment on what our examiners were able to discover, " said Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus.
She also said since the remains had been in the woods for so long, determining a cause of death would be challenging in any situation.
"All of the pieces were not in one place Wednesday, so we have to do what we can to make a final determination," said Broadus.
Meanwhile, Mobile County authorities are planning a second search for Natalie in Citronelle.
"We are still trying to determine when we will do that search. We are trying to come with a good plan to make sure we are not out in the woods wasting time," said Mobile Police Officer Chris Levy.
FOX10 News has also learned the stepmother, Heather Leavell-Keaton, will return to Mobile County Sunday. Initially, investigators said Keaton would return Thursday. She was arrested in Kentucky and is also accused of abusing the children.
"Depending on where the investigation goes, upgraded charges could be filed against her as well," said Murphree.
Mobile Police are investigating an apparent shooting that left two people dead and one person injured. Witnesses said it happened around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Campus Quarters Apartments on University Boulevard.
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