Former mayor Carl Brewer, a Democratic candidate for governor, said Tuesday that a 3-year-old child whose body was found encased in concrete was his grandson.
Wichita Police Lt. Jeff Gilmore said that preliminary evidence confirmed that the child was Evan Brewer but that DNA testing would take about two weeks.
Police were called Saturday morning to 2037 S. Vine after the landlord, who was cleaning out the rental property following an eviction, found a suspicious concrete structure emitting an odor inside the house, Gilmore said.
Officers got a search warrant and removed the structure that day. It was later discovered that it contained the body of a 3-year-old boy, Gilmore said.
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Carl Brewer issued a statement that said “we are devastated by the death of our sweet and loving grandson, Evan.”
“... We request prayers and privacy for our family during this difficult time and while the police continue their investigation,” he said.
The case goes back to March when the boy’s father, Carlo Brewer, called Wichita police and the Kansas Department of Children and Families over Evan’s welfare. The child was in the custody of his mother, Miranda Miller, and living at the South Vine address, Gilmore said.
In April, an allegation of abuse against the child was reported to DCF. The agency investigated the reports, Gilmore said. On July 6, a protection of abuse was issued on behalf of Evan. Wichita police and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office repeatedly attempted to serve the order, Gilmore said.
Investigators spoke with neighbors and conducted surveillance but were never able to get in touch with Miller or Evan, Gilmore said. They later received information that led them to think Miller had left the state with Evan, Gilmore said.
Gilmore said police have evidence that shows Miller knew a protection order had been issued and was actively eluding police.
On Aug. 30, Stephen Bodine, 40, was arrested at the address on suspicion of aggravated assault and aggravated interference with parental custody. He is being held on a $260,000 bond.
The same day, Miller, 36, was arrested in the 1200 block of South Emporia on suspicion of aggravated interference with parental custody. She’s being held on a $25,000 bond.
Evan was not found during their arrests.
An attorney for the property owner said he posted eviction notices late Friday afternoon on the home’s door, detached garage and a window. He declined to say why Miller and Bodine were being evicted.
Asked what the concrete structure was, or how big it was, Wichita Police Officer Charley Davidson said police are just calling it a “concrete structure.” He declined to say where in the house it was found. On Monday, neighbors said police used a crane lift to remove the structure.
Three neighbors said they had never seen Evan and didn’t know how long Miller and Bodine had been living at the home. But about two weeks ago, Toni Freund said missing-child fliers with Evan’s picture were left on resident’s cars. Soon after that, she saw 30 to 40 people protesting outside the house.
“They were just saying, ‘Bring him home,’ ” she said Monday.