DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors charged a man Saturday with kidnapping in the case of a 13-year-old Detroit boy who was found dead in a vacant lot this week after being abducted from a city street.
Earnest Coleman, 26, was charged with kidnapping and will be arraigned Sunday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy said in a statement.
Coleman and other people allegedly kidnapped Deontae Mitchell at about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday outside an east side market, Worthy said. She did not provide further details, except to say that the investigation is ongoing.
Three other people have been arrested, including a 45-year-old Detroit man who is waiting to be extradited from Ohio.
Deontae’s body was found Thursday on Detroit’s east side, and an autopsy found no indication that he was shot. The manner and cause of death are under investigation.
Deontae disappeared Tuesday night while riding bikes with a cousin, who told police that Deontae had picked up money dropped by a man who was urinating outside a market. Surveillance video shows Deontae being pursued by a man, who grabbed the boy by his arm and forced him into a car.
The boy’s mother, Crystal Mitchell, told the Detroit Free Press that Deontae and his cousin were going to the market to buy pop or juice.
A large group of young people were outside and picked up the money that dropped from the man’s pocket.
The man walked into the market, but returned outside with a gun drawn after realizing his money was missing, Crystal Mitchell told the newspaper Friday.
“The kids, when they saw the gun, they ran, and when they ran, Deontae was the one he grabbed,” she said. “And he threw my baby in the back of the car.”
Police believe the man in the store’s surveillance video was 45-year-old Gregory Walker, who was arrested Thursday with a woman in Toledo, Ohio. Walker is being held on a probation violation warrant.
“The alleged facts in this case explicitly show that the lives of some of Detroit’s children continue to be less important than everything else — in this case a few dollars dropped from a pocket,” Worthy said in her statement. “May we all re-examine the worth of our children and we in the criminal justice system will handle the senseless murder of Deontae.”