HALLANDALE BEACH (CBS4) – Cell phones are the latest piece of evidence Hallandale Beach Police detectives are looking at to unravel the murder of baby Dontrell Melvin.
CBS4 News has obtained court documents that show detectives are searching through several cell phones possibly belonging to the child’s mother – Brittney Sierra. A search warrant reveals that investigators are looking for photos, texts or Facebook conversations that might show the last time the baby was seen alive. The search warrant shows that police retrieved several cell phones and an external hard drive from the home of Sierra’s mother earlier this month.
Dontrell’s remains were found in January during an investigation into his disappearance. His parents, Calvin Melvin, 27, and Sierra, 21, have both been in jail since January in connection with the case. Melvin has been jailed on charges of giving false information to a law enforcement officer regarding a capital crime. Sierra is charged with child neglect
The court records also reveal that detectives are zeroing in on a text Sierra allegedly sent to a friend of Dontrell’s father just a few months before Dontrell disappeared. The search warrant says Sierra texted saying someone needed to pick up Dontrell or else she would “get rid of him.” The report says that Sierra was “upset at Calvin because he was not home with her.”
According to detectives, Sierra told police she did not use the words “get rid of him.”
Detectives also wrote in the warrant about a Facebook conversation that Calvin Melvin had with his sister in April 2012. In the conversation, the sister said she wanted to see Dontrell. Police say that Melvin told her Dontrell was at his mother’s house. His sister replied that the baby wasn’t there.
Police found Dontrell’s bones buried in the backyard of a home. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined the child died as a result of a homicide. Dontrell went missing in July 2011, but no one reported him missing until January 2013.
His disappearance didn’t come to light until child welfare investigators responded to a child neglect call on January 9 and found only two children when there should have been three.
An investigator with BSO’s Child Protective Investigations Section went to Sierra’s Hallandale home to check out an anonymous complaint which stated, “There are concerns for the children well-being. The other is smoking marijuana mixed with an unknown drug in front of the children… Mom verbally abuses the children.”
During that visit, the investigator noticed Dontrell was not home.
Police said Sierra told them the boy’s father, Calvin Melvin, Jr. left Dontrell with his parents. Melvin’s parents said they never had the boy. When cops questioned Melvin, court documents said, “Melvin described Sierra as a psycho who cuts herself and who plenty of times states; I don’t want this (expletive) baby anymore.”
In turn, the documents said, “Sierra also stated that if her baby is dead, Melvin did it; Melvin is capable to suffocate the baby.” Court documents revealed Melvin told police the boy might be buried in the backyard of their previous home. The detective’s notes even revealed Melvin drew a diagram of the area.
When cops searched the yard, they found the remains of a baby.
Both parents have pointed the finger at each other for the baby’s death.
“They were spinning this web of lies,” Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.