A Detroit man who claimed carjackers kidnapped his toddler in December was charged over her murder.
D'Andre Lane, 32, was charged with felony murder and child abuse Wednesday, even though the body of 2-year-old Bianca Jones has never been found.
"During the investigation, it was revealed that Bianca Jones was subjected to child abuse on the day of her disappearance," Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said.
She said Lane abused his daughter, which led to her death and the subsequent attempt at a cover-up.
The community spent days searching for the child, scouring the neighborhoods, hoping and praying she would be found alive.
Her mother, Banika Jones, still holds out hope, despite the murder and child abuse charges against her ex-husband.
"Bianca is alive. No one has given me any indication to the contrary, and I'm going to keep hope and keep that faith and keep searching for her until I find her," she said.
Worthy would not discuss the evidence in the case, but it was previously reported that witnesses saw Lane abuse his daughter, that cadaver dogs searched his home and that he failed a polygraph.
Worthy said she is confident in the charges against Lane and will get a conviction even without a body.
"I think for the family's closure sake, finding that body is critical," Detroit Police Department chief Ralph Godbee said.
Lane remains locked up in Oakland County jail for violating a personal protection order in another case. His attorney. Terry Johnson, said he wants to see what prosecutors have against his client.
"I'm actually surprised," Johnson said. "I'd like to see what evidence they have. Just because you don't believe someone's story does not make it a crime, especially a crime of this [magnitude]."
Lane was scheduled for arraignment Thursday afternoon in Detroit.
Newscore contributed to this report.