Mother in missing boy case back in custody

Brittney Sierra charged with 2 counts of child neglect

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - One day after her release from jail, a woman whose son was found buried in the back yard of a Hallandale Beach home she rented with the boy's father was back in police custody Tuesday.

A Broward Circuit Court judge ordered the Broward Sheriff's Office to pick up Brittney Sierra after the woman who agreed to take her in decided against it.

Sierra, 22, was released from jail Monday so she could give birth.

Prosecutors also downgraded the charges against her from second-degree neglect for causing bodily harm to third-degree child neglect.

"I want to be there. I want to feel that baby move inside her. I can't wait to hug and hold my daughter and just kiss her and never let her go," Sierra's mother, Renee Menendez said Monday. "And, yes, I can't wait for the birth of the baby. I know the state is going to take the baby but just those few moments that we have will mean the world to both of us."

Sierra was scheduled to return to court Wednesday morning.

The body of Sierra's son, Dontrell Melvin, was found Jan. 11. The infant was last seen alive 18 months before when he was 5 months old.

The Broward Medical Examiner ruled he likely died when he was 6 months old. According to the Hallandale Beach Police Department, a University of North Texas DNA analysis report found "genetic data are approximately 31.2 trillion times more likely to be observed under the scenario that the unidentified remains originated from a biological child of Brittney J. Sierra and Calvin Melvin Jr. as opposed to the unidentified remains originating from an unrelated individual from any of the three major U.S. population groups."

A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy discovered the boy was missing while investigating an unrelated child neglect case on Jan. 9.

The remains police found had blunt trauma injuries, according to Hallandale Beach police reports. But the reports indicate the injuries were caused by police officers during the recovery process.

Charges against Melvin weren't changed.

This article has corrected the spelling of Renee Menendez. We apologize for the error.

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