Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Tragedy

From JS Online

Darius Woodley, a drug-addled homeless man who police say was left in charge of 6-month-old Dekia Mattox in a filthy, barely heated Milwaukee cottage, was charged Tuesday with killing the baby and stuffing her body between a couple of mattresses.

The state-run Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare was involved with Dekia's family, which was the subject of an ongoing investigation, said Erika Monroe-Kane, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families. The DCF, which runs the Milwaukee bureau, is preparing a report that will outline the bureau's involvement, she said.

"The death of baby Dekia is a tragic one, and our thoughts are with those that loved her," Monroe-Kane said.

According to the complaint and a medical examiner's report:Mattox left the child with the aunt, Sharon D. Coleman, 48, on Christmas Eve in a cottage the three shared with Coleman's boyfriend, Willie McElroy, 39. The cottage, a dilapidated structure that neighbors said was a drug house, is behind a house in the 2700 block of N. Richards St.

Around midnight Christmas Day, Coleman left the baby with McElroy and Woodley while she went out with another man. McElroy told police he and Woodley, 36, had spent most of Christmas Day robbing stores and using the proceeds to buy drugs. He said the two smoked marijuana laced with crack, snorted heroin and drank beer.v Coleman, McElroy said, was gone for hours, and the baby began to cry.

McElroy said he left the baby with Woodley while he went searching for Coleman, once at 2 a.m. Saturday and again sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. McElroy told police he stopped to buy $10 worth of crack and then returned to the cottage, which was heated by three space heaters. The temperature on the main floor was 40 degrees. Knives were found on the floor of nearly every room. The bathroom contained a leaking toilet and a broken sink. Dirty dishes filled the kitchen sink. Investigators found empty liquor bottles and beer cans, piles of dirty clothes, discarded baby bottles and little food.

When McElroy returned to the house the second time, he found Woodley passed out on a bed but did not see Dekia. McElroy woke up Woodley and began searching the house for the baby. According to the complaint, McElroy looked in a bedroom where he found "a hump in the mattress." He lifted the mattress and found Dekia's body. The child was not breathing.

McElroy said he gave the baby to Woodley, who said, "Man, I didn't mean to do that."

Where to begin?? This is a tragedy of epic proportions. A 15 year old mother. A drug house. Knives on the floor. Homeless drug addicts. Did that child ever stand a chance?

What I would like to know is why was this family the subject of an "ongoing investigation"??? Why the hell didn't they get that baby out of there post haste?? You have an infant living in an abandoned building (love the "cottage" euphemism) with no heat, most likely no hot water, and you're investigating??? For the love of all that is holy, WHAT is there to investigate?

I will be following this to see what the child welfare bureau has to say about their involvement. As sad as it is to say, given the family conditions and the history of the child welfare bureau in Milwaukee, death may have been a better option than life for this poor innocent.


  1. I knew you would have something on this..... I find myself turning down the radio when this story is on. All involved should rot in jail, not just the guy who killed Dekia......

  2. Yeah - I want to do the follow up today, but not sure I can get to it...but it WILL be posted...bastards! All of 'em - including the social worker...

  3. The gene pool could use a little more chlorine.