By Tonya Alanez and Wayne K. Roustan, Sun Sentinel
The parents of a toddler missing since July 2011 have been arrested on charges of child neglect and human remains have been found at an address they provided to police, authorities said Friday.
Brittney Sierra, 21, and Calvin Melvin Jr., 27, are blaming each other for the disappearance of Dontrell Melvin, who would now be nearly 2, Hallandale Beach Chief of Police Dwayne Fluornoy said at a Friday morning news conference.
"They both have intimated that the child has been harmed in some way by each other," Fluornoy said. "In essence, they're blaming each other."
Human remains were found Friday afternoon buried in the backyard of the couple's former residence in the 100 block of Northwest First Avenue are human or animal, Fluronoy said.
The child's disappearance did not come to light until a routine check by a child welfare investigator on Wednesday.
Police responded to an unrelated child neglect call at Melvin's Hallandale Beach home around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
There were supposed to be three children in the home. Police found only two.
Melvin told an investigator he had taken his son, then 5 months old, to live with his grandparents in Pompano Beach 18 months ago. When the investigator went to confirm Melvin's story, the man's parents said they had no idea what the investigator was talking about, Flournoy said.
"They had not seen that particular child within the last year," he said.
When the investigator returned to Hallandale Beach to ask Melvin more questions, he was gone.
Melvin surfaced late Thursday and changed his account, claiming he dropped off the baby at a Miami Gardens fire station as part of the Safe Haven program. Flournoy said Friday that Melvin has since recanted that story.
Melvin lived with Sierra. He is father to two of her three children.
Sierra similarly told police that the child was with her parents out of state, Fluornoy said.
"We know that not to be the truth," Fluornoy said.
Sierra contacted authorities in October 2012 because Melvin had not allowed her to see her son during the previous 16 months, Fluornoy said.
The Florida Department of Children and Families conducted an investigation but the findings were unknown, Flournoy said.
Sierra gave birth to another son, fathered by Melvin, since the disappearance of Dontrell.
Melvin's record shows arrests in 2003 on charges of possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana.
Flournoy is asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dontrell Melvin to call the Police Department at 954-457-1400 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.