On January 14th a call was made to report little 2 year old Aveion Malik Lewis kidnapped. The childâ€™s stepfather, Brandon Lockett, 24, told police three men entered a duplex apartment in the Southeast Roanoke area and kidnapped Aveion after they knocked him out leaving him unconscious. He claims they bound and restrained a 4 year old girl also before leaving. The men reportedly left a note demanding $10,000 for the boyâ€™s return.
Lockett gave full description of each of the three men that he claims took his stepson even saying they drove off in a 1990 Chevrolet Blazer.
Aveion was described as being a black male with black hair (with a close cut) and brown eyes. He is about 2 ft tall. He was last seen wearing yellow Sponge Bob Squarepants pajamas.
Now police are saying that the kidnapping story is not true and the stepfather has admitted to authorities that the boy was dead before he even called the police.
Police claim that they became more concerned when Lockett and Aveionâ€™s mother, Morgan Lockett were not very helpful during their investigation in trying to locate Aveion.
Police Chief Joe Gaskins told the Roanoke Times, â€œWe had some reservations about the stories that were being told, but considering the child, we couldnâ€™t afford to assume that an abduction had not occurred, so we certainly had to work it from the angle that there had been an abduction.â€
Investigators arenâ€™t sure yet just how much Aveionâ€™s mother is involved with this. Her brother, Chris Ward says she hasnâ€™t reached out to her family for support during her sonâ€™s disappearance but he would think it would be more like she was scared of Lockett than she would have been involved. â€œI believe he has my sister scared to say somethingâ€ he said.
Police have now charged Brandon Lockett with child neglect, improper disposal of a human body and obstruction of justice. The police are not releasing any other details as to how the child died.Â Other charges could be considered but the grand jury in February according to Roanoke Commonwealthâ€™s Attorney Donald Caldwell.
It has been revealed that Lockett has a criminal record including a conviction in Georgia where he was guilty of striking the mother of his daughter, Janet Balkcom, with a candle holder in 2006. He plead guilty to family violence simple battery and was sentenced to one year probation and he was required to attend a family violence intervention program along with him having to pay a fine.
About a month later Lockett broke into Balkcomâ€™s home and had a fight with a man and Balkcom called the police from a neighborâ€™s house. Lockett plead guilty to family violence trespassing and served 60 days in jail and continued to probation when he was released.
Brandon Lockett also is still on probation for possession of cocaine according to court documents.
Police have been searching for the 2 year old child with the help of more than 60 volunteers as they use horses and cadaver dogs along the banks of the Roanoke River, the wooded area near where the child lived in the Jamestown Place duplex and they also searched in an industrial area.
They have looked under tarps, and even through trash piles that are in the area. They just want to find this baby.
Roanoke police Capt. Curtis Davis said that the police are continuing on this case even in inclement weather, which freezing rain is expected for today. â€œUntil we find him, weâ€™re going to continue working this case as much as we possibly can,â€ he said.
Davis is a firm believer that there are people out there that do have some information or that know how they can get information that could help lead them to finding little Aveionâ€™s body. He urges them to please call the police at 853-2212 or (800) 822-4453 if they have anything that can help them.
This child needs to be found. As sad as it is if the boy is really dead now, he still deserves to be found and given a proper funeral at least. Please help me keep this child in our prayers as we continue praying for all the other missing, abused or murdered children as well including Adji Desir, Haleigh Cummings, Hassani Campbell, Masaraha Ross (who remains missing with her Mom) and Marc Anthony Bookal. These children are still gone and no one knows where they areâ€¦ or do they? Someone knows but they just arenâ€™t talking. I pray that one day they will gain a conscience and start talking. God Bless these children. They are our future and without them there will be no future.