Hallandale Beach Police said Tuesday that they found enough remains in the backyard of the home where Dontrell Melvin once lived to piece together a virtually complete skeleton of a child.
Police are still awaiting DNA confirmation of the remains.
Dontrell was 5 months old when he was last seen around July 2011, according to police.
“At the time we found the initial remains they were wrapped in a particular item. I really don't want to give what it was wrapped in, but it was wrapped in a particular item,” Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said. “We had a good deal of remains that we believe that we can put together virtually a complete skeleton of that of a child.”
Parents Brittney Sierra and Calvin Melvin Jr. are being held on child neglect charges, and Flournoy has called them suspects in the possible death of their son.
Sierra is being held on $100,000 bond. Melvin, who is also charged with obstructing a criminal investigation by providing false statements to police, is being held on $150,000 bond, online jail records said.
The police chief also responded Tuesday to what the Department of Children and Families revealed the day before – that a Hallandale Beach Police officer called the Florida Abuse Hotline in October 2012 to report that the mother had not seen her baby boy since July 2011.
“She still talks on and off with the father but every time she asks about the baby he is just always making excuses and never brings the baby by,” the officer said in the phone call. “So she doesn’t even know, I mean, whether the baby is even alive or not.”
A DCF intake report showed the call was screened out – meaning no investigator was sent out.
DCF Secretary David Wilkins said in a statement Monday that his agency did not have the authority to investigate a missing child report.
But Flournoy said that police expected DCF to investigate.
“It was a child custody issue,” he said. “Wasn't a missing person case because DCF, who helped us with the missing person case on Jan. 9 – that was a missing person case, they helped us with that case. So …” Flournoy trailed off, raising his eyebrows.