Memphis police find child's body in dumpster - WSMV News 4

Missing 3-year-old's body found in dumpster

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Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said investigators found a child's body in dumpster south of downtown Tuesday afternoon.. Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said investigators found a child's body in dumpster south of downtown Tuesday afternoon..
Maurice Brown, Sr., Photo: Shelby County Jail. Maurice Brown, Sr., Photo: Shelby County Jail.
Maurice Brown Jr., 3, went missing Sunday night. Maurice Brown Jr., 3, went missing Sunday night.

(WMC-TV) – Outside a ramshackle apartment building in the shadow of the Memphis skyline is where a child's body was found Tuesday inside a dumpster. 

"We can now say the body recovered has been positively identified as 3 year-old Maurice Brown, Junior," said MPD Director Toney Armstrong during a news conference late in the day.

The body was found not far from where the 3-year-old boy went missing Sunday night.

Workers could be seen from Chopper 5 removing a dumpster from an apartment complex near Allen and Butler.

Maurice Brown Jr., went missing on Sunday, and his father, Maurice Brown, Sr., faced a judge Tuesday on charges of aggravated child neglect or endangerment.

Armstrong said a significant amount of evidence was collected at the scene of the boy's disappearance, and the evidence led police to believe it was necessary to charge the child's father.

According to the police affidavit, investigators found blood spatters on the bathroom walls, pooling of blood inside the bathroom closet, and drops of blood on the bathroom floor and tub area.

They also found a white piece of cloth with blood on it on the floor in front of the tub. The evidence in the bathroom is consistent with blunt force trauma. Also according to the affidavit, there is probable cause to believe the little boy sustained bodily injury.

The affidavit also states that prior to his disappearance, Brown Jr. was at home with his father and 1-year-old brother.  Brown Sr. said they had dinner and then his youngest son fell asleep.

When Maurice Jr. wet his pants, Maurice Sr. said he changed the boy's clothes and made him sit on the couch next to his little brother.

Brown Sr. says he fell asleep on the couch in the living room around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday and awoke around 10 p.m. to find the 3-year-old missing and the front door open.

A neighbor told police he saw Brown Sr. leave his apartment with a child draped over his right shoulder while walking towards the parking lot.  In the police affidavit, police say the witness said he believed it was the larger child of the two. 

"I think it's tragic," said neighbor Aaliyah Johnson Tuesday night.  "I think it's a shame and I think it's wrong."

Some neighbors could not imagine a seemingly loving father hurting his own son.

"I'm so used to seeing him being involved with his son," said Johnson.  "They have matching outfits and they go out and they have fun with each other."

Police are not saying how the child was killed.  However, Maurice Brown, Sr. could soon face much more serious charges as he sits in jail on a million dollar bond.

"It's just unimaginable," said Director Armstrong.

Meanwhile, total strangers like 10 year-old Tedarrius Craft are among those grieving another innocent child lost to violence.

"It's sad," said Craft as he placed a stuffed animal on the Brown family's front porch.

Police won't say when further charges might be filed.  They also questioned the child's mother.  She informally gave up custody of her son a while back.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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Read the full police affidavit about Maurice Brown Senior's arrest View photos from the investigation Watch the uncut interview with Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong regarding the investiga More>>

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