The body of a young male was discovered around 8:30 a.m. Thursday in an overgrown field off Harper and Baldwin, in the area of Van Dyke and I-94. Police Chief James Craig said officials are awaiting confirmation from the medical examiner’s office to positively identify the body as Deontae Mitchell. An autopsy is planned for Friday.
Meantime, 45-year-old Gregory Walker, who is suspected of abducting Mitchell outside of a Detroit neighborhood market Tuesday night, was taken into custody without incident in Toledo, Ohio. Walker was arrested along with a 43-year-old woman, but police declined to discuss other details.
Investigators are still searching for two additional suspects: 30-year-old Ernest Coleman and 51-year-old Roy Portis. Coleman is described as a black male, 5’10” tall and 145 lbs. Portis is described as a black male, 6’1″ tall and 180 lbs.
“I’m not going to go into details as to what roles they played in this horrific crime but we want them to turn themselves in quickly,” said Craig.
An Amber Alert for Mitchell was issued Wednesday morning. He was last seen around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday near Nino’s Market on East Warren, between Outer Drive and Alter Road on the city’s east side. His cousin told police the two were riding bikes when they saw an apparently drunken man drop money while urinating outside the market. The cousin said Mitchell picked up the money and they rode away.
Police say surveillance video from the market shows Mitchell being pursued by Walker. According to police, Walker grabbed Mitchell’s arm and “forced him into the rear passenger side” of a black Chevrolet Impala. Walker was also armed with a revolver, according to police.
“We are unaware of whether he was acquainted with the child,” said Craig. “Again, we’re talking about a defenseless child and an adult male with gun. Once again, another coward preying on children — and that needs to stop.”
Craig said more than 100 law enforcement officers worked around the clock on the case.
“This should be a message to all who perpetrate crimes against children: We’re going to continue in a very relentless way to find you and bring you into custody,” said Craig.
Many in the community have criticized Mitchell’s mother for letting him out of the house at such a late hour. But when Craig was asked his opinion, he quickly got defensive.
“Look, I’m offended when we talk about the mom. She’s a loving mom. certainly, he’s a teenager. Name a city where teenagers don’t go out in the summer months,” he said. “So what we should be talking about is reaching out and wrapping our arms around the family. Our thoughts should be with the family, not why the child was out at 10. We should be talking about the violent predator and the other violent predators that prey on children or even the elderly. That’s what we should be talking about.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 313-596-5521 or dial 911.
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