WICHITA, Kan. — Police believe the body of a child found encased in concrete in a home in Wichita, Kansas is that of a missing 3-year-old boy, but they are waiting for DNA tests before positively identifying him, a lieutenant said at a press conference Tuesday.
Three-year-old Evan Brewer is the grandson of former Wichita mayor and current Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Carl Brewer. The boy's mother and her boyfriend have been arrested on charges related to parental custody, but have not been charged in his death.
"We are devastated by the death of our sweet and loving grandson, Evan. We can not begin to make sense of this tragedy but are thankful the suspects are in custody." Brewer said on Twitter Tuesday. "We request prayers and privacy for our family during this difficult time, and while the police continue their investigation."
The, first contacted authorities about the conditions in which the boy was living in March, Gilmore said. Investigators have been searching for the child since July 6, when they attempted to serve a protection from abuse order to his mother, Miranda Miller.
At the time police believed Miller had left the state with Evan, Wichita Police Lt. Jeff Gilmore said, adding that investigators believed Miller had learned of the protection order "and was actively eluding being served."
But Miller was in Wichita on Aug. 30, when she was arrested, along with her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine. Miller and Bodine have each been charged with aggravated interference with parental custody. Bodine also faces an aggravated assault charge. Police did not say if they plan to charge either Miller or Bodine with other counts.
Three days after their arrests, the landlord of the home where Miller and Bodine had been living was cleaning it out when he noticed an odor emanating from what police have described as a concrete structure. A neighbor told KWCH the structure. The landlord called police, and soon after investigators discovered the body of a small child.
"At this time we suspect this to be the body of 3-year-old Evan Brewer. We will not be able to have final confirmation of this until we get DNA results back," Gilmore said.
Gilmore did not say if police know how or when the child died. Charges have not been filed in connection with his death.
"The circumstances surrounding this particular case have been difficult for the family, the first responders and the community," Gilmore said.