First-degree murder in the child-abuse death of 3-year-old Evan Brewer: Those are the crimes that the boy’s mother and her boyfriend are now charged with.
Three months ago, police found Evan’s body encased in concrete in his south Wichita rental home. Dwayne Haukap, the landlord who found the concrete slab poured into a form, said Tuesday that the body appeared to be wrapped in wire mesh over some sort of cloth. He said the slab was about 4 feet long and about 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. The heavy concrete left marks on the floor where it had been moved.
Evan’s mother, Miranda Miller, 36, and the man identified as her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine, 40, were charged on Tuesday afternoon in Sedgwick County District Court.
The identical charges accuse each of murdering Evan while abusing him or trying to abuse him, by injuring him and causing him to die between March 17 and Sept. 1.
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Each is being held on a $500,000 bond for the murder charge.
On an affidavit giving his financial information, Bodine put Miller as his spouse and said he had been unemployed for five years.
On her affidavit, Miller wrote that she was unemployed and received disability income.
Wichita police on Monday announced that Bodine and Miller were booked on suspicion of the crimes in Evan’s death. The two already have been in custody at the Sedgwick County Jail for three months on other charges.
Police gave this background on Monday: On Sept. 2, officers were dispatched to a rental house in the 2000 block of South Vine. The landlord “alerted police to a suspicious concrete structure emitting an odor in the house. Police removed the concrete structure from the house and later found the remains of a child inside the concrete structure.”
The Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center identified the remains as that of Evan.
Evan’s body was found in concrete that had been poured into a form sitting in the laundry room of the home where he lived with his mother, the landlord has told The Eagle.
Although the charges say the boy died sometime between March and September, the family has said that the boy was last seen around July 6.
Haukap, the landlord, recalled Tuesday that he last saw Bodine at the rental house sometime in the spring.
Bodine, the boyfriend of Evan’s mother, has been charged with threatening Evan’s father with a hatchet. Bodine is facing trial on charges of aggravated assault and criminal damage. The assault charge accuses Bodine of threatening Carlo Brewer with a hatchet on Aug. 11 after Brewer went to the rental home where Evan and his mother were living.
Carlo Brewer was looking for his son and concerned about his safety, said Shayla Johnston, a Brewer family spokeswoman.
Before the discovery of the body, police and sheriff’s officers repeatedly knocked on Miller’s door, trying to serve protective orders against her over her son – and trying to check on the child, a police affidavit said.
Miller has already been charged with aggravated interference with parental custody.