The state of Idaho is left mourning the loss of 10-month-old Zeke Best, who was tragically found dead days after his mother, Kali Jean Randall, was killed in her own home.
The alleged abductor, Zeke's father, Jeremy Albert Best, 48, is now in custody, but the devastating story has left a community in shock.
The chain of events leading to this tragic discovery began when Jeremy was seen walking naked through a store, behaving erratically. Astonishingly, he was released from mental health screening on the same day before allegedly committing a heinous crime, East Idaho News reports.
Earlier that day, Best had been seen walking nude through the Swan Valley General Store, where he was ultimately escorted out after causing a disturbance. Deputies from the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene and subsequently took him to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for a psychological evaluation.
Despite his concerning behavior, Best was discharged the same day. Tragically, the abduction of his son occurred just hours after he left the medical facility.
On the evening of the same day, the Teton County Sheriff's Office received an open line 911 call originating from the Best residence. The dispatcher reported hearing arguments on the line, prompting the dispatch of deputies to the scene.
Upon their arrival, deputies discovered Kali Jean Randall unresponsive. Her death is currently under investigation as a homicide by both the Sheriff's Office and the Idaho State Police.
Following the alleged abduction of Zeke, authorities issued an Amber Alert around 4AM on Friday, mobilizing law enforcement across Idaho in a frantic search for the missing infant. The community rallied together in a collective effort to find the child, and hopes remained high for Zeke's safe return.
However, the search took a devastating turn on Saturday morning when two hunters stumbled upon a man described as "naked and making odd statements" in a sleeping bag beside a road. This man was identified as Jeremy Albert Best.
As law enforcement investigated the scene further, they made the tragic discovery of Zeke's lifeless body near an embankment, just 36 hours after his mother's death.
The cause of Zeke's death has not yet been released, and his body is scheduled for forensic autopsy in Boise. It is unclear whether Zeke was inside his father's black Chevy SUV at the time of the discovery.
Jeremy, who was wanted on suspicion of homicide by the Teton County Sheriff's Office, was apprehended at the scene. He was detained for treatment of undisclosed injuries. The details surrounding these injuries remain unclear.
Jeremy's vehicle was found nearby in an embankment, and it was during the search of the area that authorities located Zeke's lifeless body.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office extended its condolences to the victims' family in a statement, saying, "Our thoughts are with the family of the victims involved in this case." They emphasized that the investigation is still ongoing, and further information will be released at an appropriate time.
The tragic events have left the community shocked and grieving, as they attempt to come to terms with the loss of young Zeke and the devastating circumstances surrounding his death.