HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. –
Child neglect charges have been dropped against the mother of a baby who was found buried in her Hallandale Beach backyard. Brittany Sierra was arrested in January 2013 after it was discovered her son, Dontrell Melvin, had been missing since 2011.Prosecutors said Sierra was initially charged with child neglect, because the state only had knowledge of one phone call she made to police to find her son. It was later revealed that Sierrra had made four phone calls to police.Police found Dontrell Melvin’s body in back of a home where Sierra once lived with the boy’s father, Calvin Melvin Jr.
Police reports indicate the body had blunt trauma to the skull caused by police during the recovery. The medical examiner’s office determined the bones were too damaged to determine a cause of death, but said Dontrell’s death was due to “violence by undetermined means.”
According to a closeout memo, Sierra and Calvin Melvin Jr. had discussed placing the baby up for adoption. Sierra told detectives that Calvin Melvin Jr. took it upon himself to give the baby to his parents without her consent. She said his parents didn’t like her and she believed they were keeping her son away from her.
Detectives made contact with the parents, who said they hadn’t seen Dontrell since he was two months old. Dontrell would have been 18 months old at the time his body was found.
According to the memo, law enforcement did not intervene after Sierra’s numerous phone calls, because they believed it was “strictly a civil matter.”
Criminal Defense Attorney and Former Prosecutor Ken Padowitz stated: “Based on that evidence, there appears to be a reasonable hypothesis of innocence or another words there is not a moral certainty that Brittany is in fact guilty of any crime.”
Calvin Melvin Jr. still faces child neglect charges in the death of his son.