Police search for clues in missing toddler case
Updated On: Jan 14 2013 05:08:35 PM EST
Police returned to the site where possible human remains were found in the search for a missing toddler.
Hallandale Beach Police found the remains in the 100 block of NW 1st Avenue on Friday afternoon. The medical examiner said the remains were most likely human, according to the Hallandale Beach Police Chief.
"The remains found are consistent with that of human remains," said Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy. "We brought in the cadaver dogs. Cadaver dogs searched an area, gave slight indication. The Sheriff's Office Crime Scene began to probe an area with metal spikes to see if an area was soft."
Darnell Toney, the godfather of missing Dontrell Melvin, said the boy and his parents used to live in the home.
The case is also no longer considered a missing persons case.
Missing boy's parents charged
Flournoy said both parents separately advised police to search the same area.
Sierra and Melvin are charged with child neglect. The two arrived at the Broward County Jail Friday morning.
Sierra is behind bars on $100,000 bond, while Melvin is being held on $150,000 bond.
"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 Flournoy.
Flournoy said the boy'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. She noted three children should have been at the home but only found two.
"There was a very, very, very diligent CPIS investigator that got this whole matter started," said Halladale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy. "Their conspiracy to hide the whereabouts of the child after the child went missing is apparent."
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. "I've been asking both of them, 'Where's the baby? I want to see the baby.' And they all they tell me, 'Oh, he okay, he alright. He doing good. He getting big.'"
Department of Children and Families issues statement on case
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.
The last known incident was in Oct. 2011, when police say Dontrell's mother called authorities after a custody dispute, saying Melvin wasn't letting her see her son.
Police said the case was forwarded to DCF, but no home visit was made. Dontrell was never reported missing.
DCF Secretary David Wilkins released a statement Friday, saying in part: "We have had a number of instances of involvement with this family in recent years. Working with the Hallandale Beach Police and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the most recent investigation earlier this week resulted in the actions that led to today’s arrests"
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