Kansas police are investigating previous tenants of a Wichita home after a landlord, cleaning out his previously-rented home, found the body of toddler boy on Saturday, who appeared to be around 3 years old.
The Wichita Eagle reports that the owner of the residence at 2037 South Vine in Wichita was cleaning out his home when came he across a concrete structure exuding a strong odor. Police arrived after the landlord reported the foul smell, and when authorities pulled the cement lid off, they found the little boy’s remains inside.
Neighbors reported they didn’t know the previous tenants and never saw them with a child. Yet, they did see the couple come home one day to find dozens of flyers about a missing child attached to their vehicle with around 40 to 50 people standing outside the home, protesting.
“They were just saying, ‘Bring him home,’” said neighbor, Toni Freund.
The previous tenants, identified as Stephen Bodine, 40, and Miranda Miller, 36, were both arrested on unrelated charges. Bodine was arrested at the address in question on suspicion of aggravated assault and aggravated interference with parental custody, while Miller was arrested off of South Emporia on suspicion of aggravated interference with parental custody. The charges may be upgraded, pending an investigation to determine the child’s identity and cause of death.
Officer Charley Davidson indicated that although they likely know who the child is, they have to wait on official confirmation from the county medical examiner.
“We have a tentative identification on the child, but confirmation of the child’s identity is being coordinated through the Sedgwick County Medical Examiner.”
Meanwhile, authorities placed a warning sign on the residence, stating that the previous tenants would be prosecuted if they trespass onto the property.
“Pursuant to Court Order, entry onto these premises by MIRANDA RYAN MILLER, STEPHEN BODINE, or any person claiming by, through or under them is a criminal trespass for which you will be prosecuted.”
The missing flyer found on the previous tenants’ vehicle was for a 3-year-old boy named Evan Brewer, Miller’s son. Evan was reported missing on July 6, according to the Daily Haze. Miller apparently did not have custody of the child, and the boy’s father and stepmother had been desperately searching for him.
According to the child’s stepmother, Bodine threatened to “chop her up” when she and the child’s father went over to the home on South Vine, looking for Evan. She posted about the incident on Facebook on August 13.
“I knock on the door where my stepson was last seen (which is supposedly vacant) and this guy Stephen Bodine aka Bo yells thru the door and says he’s holding him hostage in the basement, threatens to “chop” me up “into little pieces” and proceeds to open the door, tries to attack with a hatchet, then busts our tire. I got it all on video and YES police were called. Please keep an eye out especially if you’re around the area of May St. And Vine near Pawnee and Seneca!!!”
**WARNING: Video Contains Graphic Language**
Bodine is being held in jail on a $260,000 bond, while Miller is being held on a $25,000 bond.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]