Police: Remains found in lake belong to missing Raleigh toddler
Posted December 29, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Police said Monday that, although a positive identity isn't yet available, they have concluded that human remains found late Friday in a lake in northern Wake County belong to a Raleigh 2-year-old who has been missing since last Wednesday.
More tests are needed to confirm that the remains are those of Tristan Blue, but police said the remains, which were found in Beaver Dam Lake, "are consistent with those of a child of Tristan Blue's age."
Family members reported Tristan, who was two months shy of his third birthday, missing from a southwest Raleigh apartment early on Christmas Eve.
A day later, investigators said they believed the boy was dead, and his parents, Steven Daniel Blue, 31, and Briana Loriel Dangerfield, 25, were arrested.
Blue remains jailed without bond on a murder charge. Dangerfield was initially charged with child abuse and later with accessory after the fact of murder, altering or destroying evidence and failing to notify law enforcement of the death of her son.
Warrants state Dangerfield, who appeared in court Monday on the latter three charges, knew Blue killed the toddler, and she helped get rid of the body. Her bond was raised from $100,000 to $1 million.
Family and friends of the couple said they are having a hard time reconciling the alleged crime with the character of the people they know.
Dangerfield's friends said she loved Tristan more than anything – her face would light up whenever she talked about her little boy, they said – and was trying to create a good life for him. She even switched jobs about a month ago, they said, moving from parking enforcement at North Carolina State University to an overnight position cleaning planes at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Dangerfield had an off-and-on relationship with Blue, according to her friends.
Ronald Dorsey, an uncle who helped raise Blue, said his nephew and Tristan had visited with relatives over Thanksgiving, and nothing seemed wrong at the time, according to family members.
Dorsey described Tristan as a toddler who "would talk your ear off" and was always hugging his father.
"This whole incident just came out of left field. The family is just devastated," Dorsey said. "To know him, you’d think this was the last thing he’d ever think about doing."
He said he "kind of broke down" when he heard about the remains being found in the lake.
"How can you do that to a 2-year-old?" he said.