A Kansas woman was convicted of murder and other related charges after she admitted she helped her boyfriend hide her son Evan Brewer, a 3-year-old toddler found deceased inside a concrete block in 2017.
Topeka Capital-Journal reports Miranda Miller, 37, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to child abuse, aggravated child endangerment, and second-degree murder. According to Sedgwick District Attorney Marc Bennett, Miller helped deprive, beat, and torture her little boy before her boyfriend, 41-year-old Stephen Bodine, killed the toddler and hid him in a cement block in a rented Wichita home on May 19, 2017.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dwayne Haukap, 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. DNA later confirmed the remains were that of Evan Brewer, who had been missing for months.
Prior to his death, Miller’s family had been concerned about Evan and tried to get state agencies to step in for months before the boy disappeared. In March 2017, the boy’s father, Carlo Brewer, told police he had not seen his son in over a month and begged for assistance. In May, he filed a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) and according to the order, there were signs of abuse filed by the Department of Family and Children Services that spanned back to 2016.
Court records indicated that Miller had abused Evan while in her care. She was accused of leaving the boy in filthy clothes and dirty diapers. Another court document stated that Bodine had beaten Evan so severely that the child needed CPR. Yet, somehow, Miller still had the child in 2017. Police said they tried on several occasions to serve Miller with the PFA papers, but they couldn’t locate her.
Weeks before the boy was discovered lifeless in cement, a group of around 40 to 50 people showed up at Miller’s previous residence at Vine Lane, chanting for the boy’s safe return. Neighbors said they never knew Miller or Bodine and never saw them with the child.
Miller testified that on the night of the murder, Bodine had been punishing Evan because the little boy didn’t want to eat. Evan began screaming and a frustrated Bodine picked the boy up and took him to the bathroom while Miller sat idly by. Miller said she heard loud screaming, then silence, before Bodine walked out of the bathroom with Evan’s limp, wet, lifeless body in his arms.
A few days later, Bodine decided to “take care of Evan” before the toddler’s body began to smell. Bodine poured concrete over Evan’s body and made a structure that he hid in the home. Four months later, the landlord discovered the concrete block.
An autopsy couldn’t determine the cause of the toddler’s death, as he was badly decomposed when authorities found him. The autopsy reported noted Evan had Benadryl in his system. Earlier this year Miller said Bodine may have made the boy sick in the days prior to death by forcing him to eat excessive amounts of salt.
The landlord said the structure measured a little over two feet wide and stood around 20 inches tall. The poured concrete was made to look like a workbench turned upside down. Haukap guessed that around “1,000 to 1,200 pounds of concrete” had been poured.
“And that made no sense to me,” Haukap said, indicating that he thought it strange for someone to set up that type of structure in the laundry room.
Haukap said that despite rollers on the bottom of the structure, it was too heavy to move. Haukap had seen Evan in the home before and knew the boy was considered missing, and immediately became suspicious that someone buried the 3-year-old inside the cement structure.
He also knew that people suspected the child’s mother, Miranda Miller, of harming the boy. He indicated that he rented the property to Miller only, and that Bodine, who lived with her in the home, wasn’t on the lease.
Bodine later “acknowledged that he was the one who put the kid in the concrete in the laundry room,” and was convicted of first-degree murder.
Bodine faces life in prison, while Miller faces 29 years behind bars.
[Feature Photo: Evan Brewer/Handout]