FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Brittney Sierra was much calmer Friday for her court appearance. Sierra is the Hallandale Beach mom accused in connection with the disappearance of her toddler son Dontrell.
The child was missing a year and a half before anyone reported he was gone. When Sierra appeared in court last month she sat in front of the judge sobbing — and later told CBS 4’s Ted Scouten she didn’t know what happened to her little boy.
“What happened to Dontrell, do you know?” asked Scouten. “No,” she said, “I do not know and i’m waiting for answers.”
Sierra was originally charged with cruelty to a child; now, it’s neglect.
Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said it’s not that the case is getting weak; it’s that for the moment, this is what the evidence supports.
“The state believes they can prove that the mother did not act properly as caretaker of the child to find out the whereabouts of her child,” explained Chief Flournoy.
Dontrell’s father, Calvin Melvin was in court too. He orginally was charged with cruelty, now it’s three counts of lying to police.
When he initially spoke to detectives, investigators said he made up stories and pointed fingers.
“That relates to his initial interview with police when he had us searching the entire county for the kid,” said Chief Flournoy.
The prosecutor said this is not a victory for the parents; this is likely temporary.
“If we’re able to find a cause and manner of death and we’re able to prove homicide, that if we have the evidence, we will be able to support additional charges,” said Flournoy.
A child’s body was found in the backyard of the home where the family once lived. Police are waiting for DNA results to confirm that those bones belonged to Dontrell.
Melvin is being held on $151,000 bond, while Sierra’s bond is set at $100,000.