Father of Missing Child Arrested and Charged

(Memphis)  Maurice Brown, the father of a 3-year-old boy missing since Sunday night, has been charged with aggravated child neglect and endangerment of a child.

 As of Monday night, the child is still missing. 

 An affidavit shows police searched the apartment in the 300 block of South Pauline St. to find what appeared to blood all over the bathroom.

 The report also states a neighbor told police he saw Maurice Brown carrying the child over his right shoulder, leaving their apartment Sunday between 7:00 and 8:00p.m.

 That’s about the time Brown told News Channel 3 fell asleep. 

 Early Monday morning, Brown said, “I went to sleep around 8:30….I woke up like 10 o’clock. And my door was wide open.”

He then said, “I looked out the door. I searched the house, and he wasn’t nowhere to be found. I got my other son off the couch, I walked around the block, got in the car, drove around the block and I called the police.”

The affidavit states Brown had fed his two sons: the missing three-year-old and a one-year-old son. 

Then he told police the younger one fell asleep while the older boy, Maurice Brown Jr., wet his pants. As a punishment, he told police he threatened to spank the child but instead changed his clothes and put him in front of the TV.

“I’m hurting. I don’t really want to talk it. I’m just really hurt about the situation,” Brown said. “I love him to death. You know what I’m saying? He’s a happy kid, never did anything to nobody.”

The boy, known as “Junior”, appeared on many flyers Monday, as friends and family told people to look out for him wearing a Batman tee-shirt, jean shorts and no shoes.

The boy’s mother, who lives in Arkansas drove to Memphis as soon as she heard he was missing. She had last seen him in May, when she said she dropped him off with his father for the summer.

“I was devastated. I was shocked. I couldn’t even believe that my son was gone,” said LaToya Kaeneh.

Kaeneh said she didn’t quite believe that her toddler would get up, open the front door and leave.

“They say he left in the middle of the night. I just can’t see him walking out the door, bare feet in the middle of the night,” she said.

Tensions mounted Monday afternoon as police received a false alarm. Squad cars sped around the corner with family and friends running close behind. When their hopes were dashed,  tempers flared and people stayed in the middle of the street. Some were hand-cuffed, and one child even collapsed from heat exhaustion.

Later Monday, Kaeneh said she was not entirely shocked at Brown’s arrest, since she said he was fully responsible for the disappearance. She spoke to News Channel 3 before she learned the details of the report.

When asked what she would say to her son, Kaeneh said, “I love you. Come back home to me. Mama loves you so much.”

Anyone with information is urged to call 545-COPS.

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