Dontrell Melvin, a Fort Lauderdale baby last seen July 2011, may have been already decomposing in his parents' backyard as police and child service officials did nothing to investigate his whereabouts despite calls of concern.
Monday Department of Children and Families authorities released documented complaints and transcripts of calls concerning Dontrell and his parents. DCF said they received a missing child report regarding Dontrell from the Hallandale Beach Police as far back as October 2012 although an official search did not begin until last week.
"The call clearly indicates a missing child report, which this agency does not have the legal authority to investigate," DCF Secretary David Wilkins said in a statement. "Missing children and cases of criminal activity are under the authority of law enforcement unless child abuse or neglect is suspected."
According to transcript of that call, an officer told DCF: "I mean, I don't know how persistent [the mother] is with seeing her other child. She still talks on and off with the child's father, but every time she asks about the baby he just makes excuses and doesn't bring the baby by. So she doesn't even know, I mean, whether the baby is alive or not."
Despite the expressed concern about the well being of the child, Hallandale Beach Police did not pursue an investigation until this month, after a January 8th call to DCF and subsequent house visit revealed that Dontrell was nowhere to be found.
This time, an anonymous caller accused the parents of neglect, including smoking drugs in front of the children and referring to the children as "motherfuckers and bitches," according to the transcript.
Brittney Sierra, 21, has one other child by Dontrell's father Calvin Melvin, 27, and another by a different man. They shared a home with Sierra's mother and her four children -- all of whom have been taken into custody of the state, reports NBC6.
DCF's released documents reveal that there were four neglect complaints regarding children living at the home since March 2011 including their dirty appearance and odor at school, where they often arrived wearing the same clothes for days.
Friday police charged Sierra and Melvin with child neglect.
Later that same day, police found human remains matching those of a child buried in the backyard of the couple's former residence in Hallandale Beach.
A DNA match is needed to confirm the identity of the skeletal remains.
NBC Miami reports that Sierra sent Dontrell's godfather a text in April or May of 2011 that Melvin was always leaving her with the baby and she couldn't take it any more. According to the godfather, she wrote 'If you don't come get him, I'm going to get rid of him' referring to the child.
Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said Sierra and Melvin blamed each other for hurting the child, Local 10 reports, and that both parents separately told police to search the same area where the remains were found.