DETROIT – Police investigating the apparent abuse of a 1-year-old boy say they found the skeletal remains of his baby brother concealed in the ceiling of a home.
The boys' parents, 24-year-old Nickella Reid and 27-year-old Joseph Miller, were arrested Friday after Reid took her year-old son to the hospital with burns. She said he was scalded the day before Thanksgiving by Miller, her boyfriend.
The couple were arraigned Saturday on first- and second-degree child abuse charges. They were jailed on bonds of $700,000 for Miller and $400,000 for Reid, authorities said.The name of the injured boy was not released.
Reid told police that Miller killed another son, Deante Miller, in March 2006, while Miller said he died of natural causes. Miller also denied scalding the younger boy, authorities said.
Authorities say the couple then burned the body in a barbecue grill — to save on funeral costs, they claimed — and hid what was left of the remains in the ceiling of a home once occupied by Miller's sister.
The decision whether to charge the couple in Deante's death will be based on the investigation, Wayne County assistant prosecutor Maria Miller said. A forensic expert will examine the remains, she said.
She said that the surviving boy was severely abused, with burns over one-third of his body. He was in fair condition at a Children's Hospital of Michigan, authorities said.
Reid's four other children were placed in foster care, authorities said.