Three times she called Annie Melvin’s home to ask about Dontrell, and each time she was told the child wasn’t there, according to the State Attorney’s Office documents.
That December, she signed Dontrell up for a charity Christmas gift program, indicating the child would be 9½ months old. She also continued to collect food stamps in Dontrell’s name.
“Based on the arguments, Sierra accepted that Dontrell was OK with Melvin’s family and moved on day after day without Dontrell in her life,” Hallandale Beach detectives wrote.
Sierra became pregnant with her third child; Melvin is the boy’s father.
Using the map drawn by Melvin, and with the help of a cadaver dog, on Jan. 11 the delicate remains belonging to Dontrell were dug up from the couple’s former backyard.
DCF took Sierra’s two remaining children and her four half-siblings, and placed them in a state home.
By Jan. 25, forensic anthropologist Heather Walsh-Haney was able to piece together about 90 percent of the tiny skeletal remains. She told police there was no evidence of blunt trauma to the bones before they were buried. However, at some point during the search and recovery, there was postmortem blunt trauma to the cranium, she advised.
Ed Hoeg, Melvin’s attorney, said last week that he would be looking into whether that might compromise the case against his client.
“If there is only trauma afterward, did the damage destroy evidence?” he said.
Melvin faces three felony counts of providing false information to police.
Sierra remains in the Broward County Jail facing two counts of child neglect.
With the skeleton now firmly identified as Dontrell’s, both likely face more charges in the baby’s death.
Sierra’ attorney, Dohn Williams Jr., said on Friday that he hadn’t seen the findings nor was he familiar with the laboratory that performed the tests.
“The cause of death and time of death are the key issues in this case,’’ he said.
Miami Herald staff writer Elinor J. Brecher contributed to this report.