Calvin Melvin Jr. turned himself in to Hallandale Beach Police Thursday night to answer questions about the whereabouts of his missing 23-month-old toddler, but little was clarified about the case.
The 27-year-old father told them that he dropped off his little boy Dontrell Melvin at a Miami Gardens fire station 18 months ago, Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said.
However, all of the children left at Miami Gardens fire stations have been accounted for, he said.
Flournoy said flatly that he doesn't believe Melvin's account.
"There's a child that's out there. We don’t know what happened with this child,” he said. “But the story that the child was left at a fire station in Miami Gardens, I don't believe it. I don't believe it at all."
Police announced earlier Thursday that they are searching for Dontrell, who has been missing for a year and a half.
“As it relates now, what we have is a child that has not been seen by the mother or any other relatives since July of 2011, and the last known person to be in contact with that child is the father, who’s refusing to meet with law enforcement,” Flournoy said at a news conference.
Melvin told authorities that the child was with his parents as of July 2011 because he couldn’t afford to care for the child. But when authorities went to check on the toddler at the grandparents’ home in Pompano Beach, they said they hadn’t seen the child since July 2011, police said.
The baby’s mother believed Melvin and thought that the child was also being taken care of by the grandparents, police said. She said she has had custody issues with him, police added.
An investigator with the Broward Sheriff's Office Child Protective Services visited the home Melvin shares with the mother of his babies regarding a child neglect case on Wednesday, according to police. Instead of finding three children in the residence, they discovered that one was missing, police said.
The Department of Children and Families removed the remaining two children from the home and have placed them in the custody of the state, police said.
Police ask anyone who has seen him to contact them immediately, or to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.