Two weeks before police investigators used a forklift to extract a suspicious concrete structure from a Wichita home, missing-person fliers were posted around the neighborhood seeking information on a 3-year-old boy.
Shortly after, a crowd of 30-40 people showed up in front of the home at 2037 South Vine and chanted “bring him home,” Toni Freund, a neighbor who lives within eyesight of the home, told Wichita Eagle.
Police say they received a call from the owner of 2037 South Vine reporting an odd concrete structure which emitted a strong odor. Investigators showed up at the house on Saturday and had to use heavy machinery to pull the structure out.
“It was a green tarp, but you can see a box if you would. Heavy. I hate to say it, but it looked like a small coffin. Cause it was like the size of a toddler bed. But very heavy. It took a forklift to get it out of the house,” a man in the neighborhood told KWCH.
Inside the concrete coffin, police found the remains of a small child. The boy has not yet been identified, although police say they have a tentative name. The Wichita County Medical Examiner is expected to make the final call.
Two people who lived in the rental home were arrested on Wednesday on different charges. They were both listed as persons of interest on the missing-person fliers posted around the neighborhood two weeks prior.
The missing 3-year-old boy on those fliers was identified as Evan Brewer. He was reported missing on July 6, according to Kansas Missing Report.
Miranda Miller, 36, and Stephen Bodine, 40, were arrested at different location Wednesday. Miller was booked on suspicion of aggravated interference with parental custody. Bodine was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault charges and aggravated interference with parental custody.
Miller is held on $25,000 bond. Bodine’s combined bond was set at $260,000. Both are being held at Sedgwick County Jail.
“I didn’t know the man and woman who lived in the home very well, others say they mostly kept to themselves,” said the neighbor who spoke to KWCH.
That was the case for several other neighbors as well. Kathy Niblack and Richard Kathey, both of who live within eyesight of the home, never saw the child.
“I can’t see any parent being involved that way,” Kathey said.
Police presence has ramped up in the neighborhood in the days leading up to the grisly discovery, Niblack said.
“This has been going on for some time, the police presence,” she said. “Friday night they were everywhere. Saturday night they were everywhere.”
The police are investigating the case. The home on South Vine was quiet on Monday with no one going in or out. Orange fliers were posted on the front door, window, and the garage gate, warning against trespassing.
“It’s definitely a tragedy,” Freud said.