Father, mother charged in missing boy case
Updated On: Jan 12 2013 08:41:14 PM EST
Hallandale Beach Police say they have charged the father and mother of a boy who was last seen in July 2011.
Brittney Sierra and Calvin Melvin, Jr. were arrested Friday. He voluntarily showed up at the police department Thursday night for questioning, police said.
Both were charged with child neglect. The two arrived at the Broward County Jail Friday morning.
"They both have responsibility for the care of that child. They both basically admit they equally did not provide adequate care for that child," said Halladale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy.
Flournoy said 1-year-old Dontrell Melvin's mother and father have blamed each other for hurting the child.
"I can tell you as it relates to the disappearance after July, it was clear to both parents, even by their admissions, that no family member was in possession of the child and no one that they knew of was in possession of the child," said Flournoy.
Broward Sheriff's Office discovered the boy was missing when deputies investigated an unrelated child neglect case on Wednesday.
Melvin told detectives he dropped the child off at a fire station in Miami Gardens, but then recanted that story, said Flournoy.
"No one has seen the child, according to them, since August. Other reports say July 2011," said Flournoy.
Flournoy said Melvin got into an argument with Sierra and left for three weeks. When he returned, Sierra told him the boy was with her parents out of the state.
Later, Melvin told police Sierra said, "You have to forgive me if you love me. Don't ask me about the whereabouts of the child. If you love me, you'll forgive me," according to Flournoy.
Flournoy said there is no evidence Melvin and Sierra colluded to hurt the child. He said the two acted together after the child disappeared.
"He was a baby, man. That's all I can see. He was a baby. He wasn't even walking yet. He didn't even have his first teeth, so what more can I say about him. It wasn't like I took him to the park or nothing like that," the boy's godfather Darnell Toney said through tears.
Hallandale Beach Police were searching a home in the 100 block of NW 1st Avenue on Friday afternoon. Toney said Melvin, Sierra, and the child used to live there.
Flournoy said both parents separately advised police to look in the same place.
The Department of Children and Families said Sierra has two other children who were placed into state custody on Thursday.
"We have a history with various members of the family," said Page Patterson of DCF.