Local News

Warrant: Bleach used to mask smell of dead toddler

Posted December 11, 2008 6:41 p.m. EST
Updated January 22, 2009 9:44 p.m. EST

— 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.