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Police: Remains found in lake belong to missing Raleigh toddler

Posted December 29, 2014

— 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.


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  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Dec 30, 2014

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    You're not religious but you "pray" he is with "angels" and those angels are watching over his father? You should have prayed those angels were watching over the kid. Religion resmigion

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Dec 30, 2014

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    That post alone should make you bar yourself from posting again. Skip the trial? Are you serious? Even on the most oustside chance, there's a chance they're not responsible or one is more to blam than the other. The thought that you'd kill someone based on an accusation is unsettling. What if they accused you and you had nothing to do with it? Would you walk the "green mile" without a trial? Didn't think so...

  • serenitynow Dec 30, 2014

    So sad

  • K Hope Capps Dec 30, 2014
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    Rest in Peace Little Angel.

    I don't understand how anyone can do this.

  • Nan Toppin Dec 30, 2014
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    It's just a theory. obviously I don't know. But a tragic accident and then making the decision to dump the body in a lake and having the mom cover is a big stretch for me. I think it's far more likely there was abuse going on in the home, the father killed the child because he KNEW he was an abuser and was guilty...so he and the mother cooked up this scheme to dispose of the body and say the boy disappeared. It's just a theory. But if these were super loving parents and some tragic accident occurred, why would they feel a need to dump his body and lie? Hopefully the parents will come clean and we will find out what really happened. Chances are they will turn on each other before it's all over. I believe the fact that the police charged the father so early is an indication that they have some evidence/proof that he did it.

  • Khaleel Murphy Dec 30, 2014
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    I am so sad for tristan no child deserve this and I hope whoever did this burn in hell he was a precious gift. And someone took him away the thing I don't understand is why the mom and dad have not showed any emotions

  • BEACH Dec 30, 2014

    Why could they have not this little child to someone if they did not want him, He did not deserve to die, this is so sad, He is with the Angels now.

  • Kelly West Dec 30, 2014
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    Sorry, let me clarify my thought because I didn't express completely...why do you assume that the father had a history of abuse and just took it too far this time? Accidents do happen and people panic. I'm not trying to make excuses because what happened to this poor child is deplorable. There's still so much we will never know...

  • Missy93 Dec 30, 2014

    Heart wrenching. No child deserves this....may he rest in eternal peace.

  • johnnymanziel Dec 30, 2014

    These two "parents" are disgusting excuses for human beings. Skip the trial and give them both the death penalty.