A DNA report links the parents of missing boy Dontrell Melvin to remains found in the backyard of a house where they once lived, Hallandale Beach Police said Friday. A source close to the case confirmed to NBC 6 that the remains are Dontrell's. His mother Brittney Sierra, who has pleaded not guilty to neglect with bodily harm, said after a previous court appearance that she was "waiting for answers."
A DNA report links the parents of missing boy Dontrell Melvin to remains found in the backyard of a house where they once lived, Hallandale Beach Police said Friday.
A source close to the case confirmed to NBC 6 that the remains are Dontrell's. He was 5 months old when he was last seen around July 2011.
The skeletal remains that were discovered on Jan. 11 at 106 NW 1st Ave. were sent to the University of North Texas for DNA tests.
In an email, the police said that the DNA report showed, “genetic data are approximately 31.2 trillion times more likely to be observed under the scenario that the unidentified remains originated from a biological child of Brittney J. Sierra and Calvin Melvin Jr. as opposed to the unidentified remains originating from an unrelated individual from any of the three major U.S. population groups.”
The parents have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the boy’s disappearance. Sierra, 21, faces a charge of neglect with bodily harm and Melvin, 27, faces a charge of making a false statement to a law enforcement officer.
According to police, Sierra said in a sworn recorded statement that she last saw her son in July 2011, when Melvin took him for a walk at night and returned without him. She filed a police report that night. Records show two officers did make contact with Sierra the night of July 15, 2011 – but neither one of the officers could remember when asked recently what the complaint was about. That is under investigation.
Around Christmas 2011, police said, Sierra applied for free Christmas gifts through the "Shop With a Cop" program. The application listed Dontrell as being nine and a half months old.
Police said Renee Menendez, Dontrell's grandmother, received benefits and food stamps for him for five months after the boy was reportedly last seen.
Sierra’s attorney, H. Dohn Williams, has said he cannot provide a response until he views the actual recorded statements made by his client. He said he does not want to rely on police reports that paraphrase what his client said.
Melvin's attorney, Ed Hoeg, has said he does not believe his client had anything to do with the disappearance of Dontrell.