Homicide by Child Abuse
Two people were arrested Tuesday, July 2, 2019, as the result of an investigation into the death of a child last November. On November 6, 2018, at 5:30 p. m. deputies of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 989 14 th Street, Lancaster, concerning an unresponsive child, De’Yontae Miller, Jr., a male who was 14 months old.
The child lived in the home with his father, De’Yontae Monterio Miller, Sr., age 25, and Miller’s girlfriend, Ramesha Monet Brantley, age 23. Brantley is not the mother of the child. Another one-year-old male child who is the child of Miller and Brantley and a now three-year-old female child of Miller who is also not Brantley’s child also lived in the home. Deputies rendered aid to the child until personnel of Lancaster County Emergency Medical Services arrived and took over. The child was transported to a medical facility and was pronounced dead at approximately 6:40 p. m. Criminal and crime scene
investigators arrived along with a Special Agent of the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Special Victims’ Unit which investigates child fatalities. A search warrant for the home was obtained, and the home was searched. Investigators determined the home had no running water and little food. They also found conditions unsuitable for small children including the presence of over-the-counter and prescription medications, hard candies, and rodent poison in locations accessible to the children. Evidence of narcotics was also located, and Drug Task Force agents found approximately two grams of suspected Crack Cocaine and approximately 2.8 grams of suspected Marijuana along with two sets of digital scales.
An autopsy of the child’s body was performed the next day. The cause of death was determined to be nonaccidental blunt force trauma of the head, the neck, the torso, and the extremities. The child had fractured ribs and a fractured leg. Some of the injuries were recent but others were weeks old.
This Tuesday investigators served an additional search warrant on a different home now occupied by Miller and Brantley seeking additional evidence concerning the child’s death and found 14 grams of suspected Marijuana and scales. The case has been investigated extensively since the incident occurred by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, SLED, the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office, and the Sixth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Sufficient evidence was obtained to charge Brantley and Miller.
Brantley is charged with Homicide by Child Abuse, three counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child or Helpless Person, Possession with Intent to Distribute
Crack Cocaine, and two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. Brantley’s bond was denied.
Miller is charged with three counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child or Helpless Person, Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, and two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. His bond was set at $90,000.00. He posted bond
earlier today and was released.
“This has been a long but thorough investigation,” said Sheriff Barry Faile.
“Multiple agencies have been working on the case for several months. Many interviews have been conducted. The backgrounds of these adults and children have been examined. Forensic evidence has been tested. When we were satisfied we knew what happened to this child, we sought warrants from the magistrate and made the arrests. This has been a
difficult investigation for all those involved and certainly a sad and tragic end to the life of this child.”
Anyone with information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster
County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-3388 or contact Midlands Crimestoppers in one of the following ways: dial 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372), log onto
http://www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and click on the “Submit a Tip” tab, or download the P3 Tips App for Apple or Android devices.