Hallandale Beach, FL – The death of Dontrell Melvin, the 5-month-old Florida baby who was not formally reported missing for nearly 18 months and later found deceased, was officially ruled a homicide by a South Florida medical examiner Friday.
It was assessed the boy first disappeared in July 2011. His absence was not immediately reported to authorities until October 2012.
Neither parent had made an effort to alert anyone of the infant’s status until the boy’s mother made a call to authorities. She claimed the child’s father had not allowed her to see her son in well over a year. Yet the couple had birthed another son during that span of time.
A missing child report was created but later screened out by the Department of Children Families child abuse hotline.
Additional months passed before a child welfare investigator, prompted by another call to the child abuse hotline, visited the home of Brittney Sierra, 21, and Calvin Melvin Jr., 27. In January 2013, child welfare authorities found only two children when there should have been three living in the home, according to the Miami Herald.
When asked of Dontrell’s location, Melvin claimed he’d given his child over to the paternal grandparents in Pompano Beach, as he and Sierra were experiencing financial problems and were unable to provide the needs for the infant.
Investigators state Sierra made a similar account, telling police that the child was with her parents out of state.
Dontrell’s grandparents told authorities they’d not seen the boy in well over a year nor had he been in their care at the time of his alleged disappearance.
Melvin later changed his account, claiming he dropped off the baby at a Miami Gardens fire station as part of the Safe Haven program.
The child’s skeletonized remains were uncovered a few days after child welfare investigators got involved, buried in the backyard of the former residence of the couple in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
The couple was initially charged with child neglect and falsifying statements, but the charges were amended to homicide once the body was found, and bail was increased by a Broward County Circuit Court judge.
Now a medical examiner has confirmed the worst fears – the child met his end under homicidal conditions. More specifically the autopsy report stated the boy died by “violence of undetermined means.”
Sierra and Melvin have intimated the child’s disappearance and subsequent death at the hands of the other, further deepening the conspiracy of how exactly the crime was executed and why.
[Image – aerial view of the former home during the investigation of the backyard]