Prosecutor: Raleigh dad confessed to smothering 2-year-old son
Posted February 5, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — The father of a 2-year-old boy whose body was recovered from Falls Lake the day after Christmas confessed to smothering the child, prosecutors said Thursday during a routine hearing on the case.
Steven Daniel Blue, 31, faces a charge of murder in the death of Tristan Matthew Blue, whose mother reported him missing. Briana Loriel Dangerfield, 25, faces multiple charges, including accessory after the fact to murder, in her son’s death.
Prosecutors also said Thursday that Dangerfield admitted to police that she hadn’t laid eyes on her son since Dec. 22.
They did not elaborate on the case, and authorities haven’t commented on a possible motive.
Tristan was initially reported missing on the afternoon of Dec. 24, police have said, when family members said he might have wandered off wearing a Batman shirt and gray sweatpants.
According to a search warrant returned Thursday, Dangerfield told police that she awoke around 12:30 p.m. to the front door of her southwest Raleigh apartment open and a package outside the door.
Raleigh police say in the warrant that Dangerfield told police that, when she arrived home from work earlier that day, it appeared as if the boy were asleep with his father in the bedroom. She said that she woke up in a living room recliner and that Blue was there and they searched for the boy before calling 911.
By Christmas Day, the case had turned into a homicide investigation.
The search warrant indicates that, through interviews with Blue, they learned Tristan was “unresponsive when he was removed from 5416 Apt. 1 Portree Place.”
Detectives say in the court document that their investigation also led them to determine that Blue allegedly carried the boy’s body in his 2004 Ford Taurus and dumped it into Falls Lake.
It was pulled from the Beaver Dam Lake section of Falls Lake on Dec. 26.
Among items seized from the family’s home were computers, phones and other electronic equipment. Police also found a long-sleeved Batman shirt in the apartment and gray sweatpants in Blue’s car.
Blue is being held without bond in the Wake County Detention Center, and Dangerfield remains in jail under a $1 million bond.
The case is scheduled to be back in court on April 16.