I can’t begin to tell everyone how much it is hurting me right now to write this article but I feel this child deserves his name out here so that we all won’t forget him. If what I am reading tonight is true my heart is breaking.

I went to bed early tonight and as you all know I have been having a rough month as Friday will be 28 years ago since I lost my twins during child birth. I woke up in tears from my normal nightmares but felt something was different so I decided to get up and read my emails. I don’t mind saying that this time I honestly wish I wouldn’t have had any emails tonight but I did have an update on little 2 year old Aveion Malik Lewis.

Before January 14th I had never heard of little Aveion. His name came up in my alerts as a missing child, well actually as an abducted child. According to his stepfather that claimed three men broke into his home and knocked him unconscious and restrained a 4 year old girl but took Aveion and they left a ransom note demanding $10,000 if he wanted to get the child back.

The step-father, Brandon Lockett, 24, later admitted to the police that the story he told wasn’t true. He said the child was dead before he even called the police but he wasn’t helpful in trying to find the boy.

Police Chief Joe Gaskins said, “We had some reservations about the stories that were being told, but considering the child, we couldn’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.”

Lockett had been arrested and charges with child neglect, improper disposal of a human body, and obstruction of justice but according to a Roanoke police news release Lockett had not been charged with killing Aveion.

Police have been searching for days in a Virginia Landfill, sifting through piles of trash. The Roanoke police officers found what they think could possibly be the body of little 2 year old Aveion. They say it is the body of a small child that was in trash dumped from the area where Lockett and his wife and the child lived.

The child’s body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine it’s identity and cause of death. Aisha Johnson, police spokeswoman, says they are waiting on the medical examiner’s office to get them the information before they release any more to the public.

Lockett remains behind bars and is being held without bond. I say with his history of violence perhaps he should stay there until all this is settled. Chief Gaskins did say that Lockett had not been cooperating with the investigators especially when it came to telling them where the boy’s body was. When Gaskins was asked about what Lockett had told them so far, he said only all sorts of stories most of which were fairy tales. In cases like this the prosecutors usually want a body in order to charge anyone with murder. So we can expect more charges against Lockett now if this is indeed that of little 2 year old Aveion.

I look at this child’s picture and cry. How can anyone hurt an innocent child? Here I am grieving for my babies still after all these years yet I look around and see so many killing babies from left to right. I know I am not alone in my grief. I know lots of women have lost a child so they understand what I am feeling. I have no sympathy for anyone that kills an innocent child. I have none for anyone that harms an innocent child either. These babies are born innocent. They are precious gifts to us from God, how dare anyone hurt one or rip the life out of them. It just isn’t fair to them.

Aveion’s father, James Lewis, 23 said he had a great relationship with his son until his mother, Morgan Lockett began dating Brandon Lockett. “It seemed like she was shutting me out of my kids lives,” he said. He talked about the custody battles her had with Morgan and the Department of Social Services.

Apparently the child had been taken from the mother and put in Foster care for 16 months after they found that the baby was severely underweight. In May 2008 the Social Services Dept received a call that Morgan Lockett had been neglecting her son and that he was severely underweight. After a search warrant had been issued they found the child only weighed 9 lbs.

The baby was born with a medical problem that required surgery to remove part of his intestines. As a result he required a strict feeding schedule and needed medication. When they found him so underweight they took him into protective custody so he could get the medical treatment that he really needed.

He remained in foster care until March after Social services developed a plan for his mother and Brandon Lockett that was approved by the Roanoke Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Brandon was ordered to take an 18 week program on domestic violence alternatives, which they say he completed while they both had to attend the parenting classes. The baby had doubled his weight while he was in foster care.

Although Aveion’s father tried to get custody, he was returned to his mother’s care but Social Services still kept legal custody. They made scheduled and unscheduled visits to see that the child’s medical needs were met but in September the judge awarded Morgan Lockett legal custody on the recommendation of Social Services.

Of course the Jane Conlin, Director of Social Services is not going to take responsibility for what happened to little Aveion.

“The person who is responsible for this is not the social worker,” she said. “I think we need to keep in mind that social workers aren’t mind readers. We work with the best knowledge and information we have and within the law. Nobody can, with 100% accuracy, predict the behavior of another person.”

This might be true but I have to ask myself, would Aveion still be alive today if they had awarded the father custody? Or perhaps if they had just left him in foster care where he apparently was gaining weight and being well taken care of. To me this is another case where the system has failed a child, another innocent child paid the price with his life.

I’d like to know what did they think? Did they think making this man go through an 18 week program for domestic violence alternatives was going to make him change? Did they think a few weeks of parenting classes was going to make these two better parents? My God this baby was only weighing 9 pounds when they took him from the mother. She apparently didn’t care about what happened to her son. No class in the world can make someone a parent. That comes from within the mother and father’s heart. You have to love and care about a child to be able to be a parent to him which they obviously didn’t have enough love for Aveion. It truly breaks my heart.

They say there has been no charges brought against the mother at this time but if she knowingly was allowing her husband to mistreat her son, then she is just as responsible for this as he is. I pray to God that they get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what happened to little Aveion. God bless his little soul. My prayers are with him.

Jan Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!