Warrant: Mom made daughter bury 4-year-old sister in Charlotte backyard
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - New warrants are revealing gruesome details about what happened before officials found the remains of a 4-year-old child buried in the backyard of a home in north Charlotte.
The child, who has been identified as Migellic “Jellie” Young, was found outside of a home on Braden Drive, near Charlotte’s Firestone Park.
The child’s mother Malikah Diane Bennett was arrested and charged with felony child abuse, inflicting physical injury, felony concealing a death, and first-degree murder.
The child’s grandmother, 53-year-old Tammy Moffett, was later charged with concealing a death and accessory after the fact (murder) in the case. Moffett has since received a $5,000 secured bond for each charged, totaling $10,000.
Warrants are now revealing more details about what happened in this case.
A search warrant says Bennett forced her 13-year-old daughter to help bury her sister in the backyard, the Associated Press reports.
One warrant states on May 21, CMPD officers responded to Braden Drive for a welfare call for service. The 911 caller was a child protective services worker who asked officers to find the child.
According to the warrant, the child’s mother Bennett was living in the home with seven other children. The CPS worker reportedly told 911 that family members of the missing child hadn’t seen her since Aug. 2020.
Detectives spoke with a man who told them that Bennett told him the missing child was dead. He told police that Bennett didn’t report it because the child had injuries and she was afraid to get in trouble.
The warrant goes on to state that the man also told detectives that in Aug. 2020, the child had become unresponsive and family members conducted CPR on her, without reporting the incident to police.
Investigators reportedly found several domestic violence and child abuse reports involving Bennett, her family and her children. Some of the incidents were reported at the home on Braden Drive.
The warrant states that detectives spoke with Bennett who told them she dropped the child off with a family member in Aug. 2020, had not seen the child since and had not reported the child missing.
Bennett family members told authorities they had no knowledge of the statements made by Bennett and did not know where the child was, the warrant states.
The warrant continues, saying detectives interviewed a younger family member living in the house who said the missing child started living with them in Aug. 2020.
According to the warrant, this person told authorities one day the child was being punished by Bennett and was forced to stand up in the laundry room, not allowed to sit down or leave. The child reportedly stood up in the laundry room for three days, getting so weak once she fell out of the back door and hit her head on the ground, the warrant states.
This warrant says this person remembers on the third day is when the child passed out from standing, describing her breathing as off and on. The warrant says this person stated that this is the day that the child died.
The warrant continues, saying the person told detectives that Bennett tried to do CPR but could not.
According to the warrant, this person told detectives that Bennett then washed up the child and placed her body in two black plastic trash bags that she got from under the kitchen sink. Bennett then reportedly placed the body in an SUV where the child’s body remained for about five days before the smell became unbearably bad.
The warrant states this person told detectives that Bennett drove to buy a shovel before returning home, digging a hole and having this person help her place the child’s body in the hole and cover the child up with dirt.
Detectives searched the SUV and the home. They seized a shovel, swabs. human remains, a vehicle and a cell phone from the home.
The investigation into this case is active and ongoing. As additional information develops, it will be released by the CMPD’s Public Affairs Office.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit detective. Detective P. Diekhaus is the lead detective assigned to the case. The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or charlottecrimestoppers.com.
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