Local News

Warrant: Bleach used to mask smell of dead toddler

Posted December 11, 2008
Updated January 22, 2009

— The smell of a dead 19-month-old boy, found in a Garner apartment last month, was concealed with bleach, according to a search warrant returned last week.

The body of Devarion Gross was found Nov. 14 in a sealed, white plastic garbage bag in a closet at the boy's home at 1852 Spring Drive, which he shared with his mother, Sherita McNeil, and a sister, 2.

Concerned about the boy and unable to contact McNeil, family members went to the house and found the toddler's body.

The plastic bag was underneath some sheets inside a plastic container, and someone had poured bleach on the sheets to mask the smell, according to the search warrant.

Garner police and EMS responded to a 911 call from the home shortly after 10 p.m. McNeil and her daughter were not home, according to a previous warrant.

Police later made contact with McNeil at a friend's home.

Family members had not seen the child in more than a month, the warrant said. McNeil had told the family he was staying with a close friend.

Investigators also found letters from McNeil and the boy's father, Eric Chambers, inside the apartment. In the letters, Chambers expressed concern over McNeil's getting rid of their son, according to the warrant.

McNeil first came to authorities' attention on Nov. 3 when someone called Wake County Child Protective Services to suggest that they check on Devarion. McNeil was supposed to meet police and bring her son, but that meeting never happened.

McNeil was parenting both children alone. Chambers is in prison.

No charges have been filed in the case.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • pebbles262004 Dec 12, 2008


  • OneLove Dec 12, 2008

    NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED?! WHY?! none at all? not even mishandling a body? so, they find this child, dead and wrapped in a bag in his home and file not one charge? where is Mom of the Year? hanging out?!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Dec 12, 2008

    You made a very valid comment. The mother needs to be given life in prison and the 2 year old placed in a loving home. Yes, this is horrible and if the social service system did their job, this child would probably be alive today.

  • sssh.. whisper Dec 11, 2008

    As a human being, I find this to be a horrible thing... As a single mother of a little boy, I find this to be absolutely horrifying! That poor little boy. To suffer a death so unbelievably cruel. Stuffed in a plastic bag and then into a container- that baby suffered to death! For her to consider herself a woman, a mother, a human.. There's not a severe enough punishment for her. Ad far as our child protective services- how dare you! You received a call and you never followed through. She didn't show up for a scheduled meeting and you didn't follow up... Hint, hint obviously there was something wrong!!! And this is just one of the many reasons that people have lost faith in North Carolina's system.. My prayers are with the boy's extended family

  • anneonymousone Dec 11, 2008

    This is getting worse with every detail. I can only hope that these folks---if guilty---do not have any more children and do not raise any others that are already here, and that the boy died quickly and without knowledge of his betrayal.