[Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET] The mother of a 1-year-old boy found dead in Missouri will be charged with killing him, the St. Louis County prosecutor told reporters Wednesday.
The mother, Shelby Dasher, will be charged with second-degree murder, prosecutor Bob McCulloch said.
The accusation comes after the medical examiner ruled that Tyler Daniel Dasher died from multiple blunt force trauma, McCulloch said.
"Ms. Dasher during the interrogation has acknowledged ... she repeatedly struck the baby, primarily because the baby was not cooperating; the baby was crying, the baby was not laying down and wouldn't go back to sleep," he said.
Tyler's body was found in a wooded area about a mile from his home Tuesday. He was reported missing earlier that day.
The mother had told investigators that she last saw the child when she put him to bed Monday night, according to CNN affiliate KSDK.
Authorities did not reveal how they believe the child's body got to the location where it was found.
An experienced police investigator at the scene quickly recognized that child abuse could be involved, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told reporters.
"He recognized rather quickly that this just wasn't a missing person. That there was a lot more to this than just a baby that was discovered missing out of a bed," Fitch said.
Before prosecutors announced their plan to file charges, Shelby Dasher's friends defended her in interviews with KSDK.
"She didn't do it," said friend Emily Rowley. "Until those words come out of her mouth, I have all the faith in her."
Another friend, Holly Barton, told KSDK that she had never seen Dasher act suspiciously with her son.
"Tyler's her life. Any time I've ever seen them together, they both laugh and smile. I know that it's not her. I have all the faith in the world," she said.
Barton said she spoke briefly with Dasher on Tuesday after hearing that Tyler was missing.
"As soon as we hung up, she texted me and said, 'Just please pray,'" Barton told KSDK.