(Memphis 7/4/2012) – A community is reaching out on this holiday to the family of a 3-year-old boy whose body was found hours after his father reported him missing. Police and neighbors searched for little Maurice Brown, Jr. for an entire day before finally locating his body in a dumpster.
The boy’s father at first told police he thought either gang members kidnapped the child or the child just unlocked the door and walked out. Maurice Brown, Sr. is now in jail facing aggravated child neglect charges but more charges are likely. What happened to the child is just unthinkable to most folks. The grief is evident.
Outside the Pauline Street apartment where 3-year-old Maurice Brown, Jr. was staying with his father for the summer, a memorial of stuffed animals is growing. It’s a sign that something terrible happened here. The only indicator this is a holiday is a red, white and blue pinwheel slowly turning in the wind.
Neighbors come out only briefly to add to the tribute and shake their heads in disbelief.
“He appeared to be a loving father but looks can be deceiving,” said Brown’s neighbor.
The thought the child’s lifeless body was found in a dumpster and his father may be responsible is too much for his neighbor.
She added, “I can’t stop thinking about that baby. I had took him to the store one night and was trying to play with him and talk to him and that keeps going in the back of my head. that little boy is not with us anymore and it hurts. I’m sorry it hurts.”
Maurice Brown, Sr. is charged only with child neglect or endangerment but murder charges may not be far away. Police found blood all over the bathroom in the apartment. They say it is consistent with blunt force trauma of the child. The story so touched R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home They’ve volunteered to donate the entire costs of the child’s funeral service.
“It really touches you when you hear things of this nature. It gets you right here in the heart. It really gets you right here in the heart, said Andre Jones, R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home.