SEARCY, Ark. — The Searcy Police Department have confirmed remains found in Jackson County, Arkansas are those of missing 2-year-old Malik Drummond.
According to the department, the crime lab were only able to find DNA results.
They were not able to determine cause of death.
The little boy disappeared in November 2014.
His remains were located in December just hours after police announced they had arrested the child’s father, Jeffrey Leroy Clifton, on capital murder and abuse of a corpse charges.
Clifton’s ex-girlfriend, Lesley Marcotte, was also arrested in the case after police said she hindered apprehension or prosecution charges.
According to police, when they arrived at the Clifton’s home on that date, they questioned both the father and the father’s girlfriend, Marcotte.
At that time, she initially told police she was in the bathtub with another child when Malik walked out the door and went missing.
However, as the investigation continued police noticed inconsistencies in the story.
On November 23, 2015, agents interviewed Marcotte again, but this time she said Clifton had killed the child.
Malik and the other children were eating dinner on the coffee table.
According to the girlfriend, Malik wasn’t eating which caused Clifton to get mad at him.
He took the child in to the bedroom to discipline him and when they returned Malik started eating his dinner.
Later on that night, Malik then drank all of another child’s drink which set Clifton off again.
Marcotte said she begged Clifton not to discipline the child again, but he didn’t listen.
When they returned, she said the child didn’t look good.
She told Clifton they should take him to the hospital, but said the father refused, being too scared because of the extensive bruising on the child’s body.
Police were then told Clifton had beaten Malik and his twin sister on several occasions.
The couple put the child in the bathtub and that’s when they noticed his legs were cold and his belly was swelling.
The child then started making a choking sound.
Marcotte said she tried to perform CPR, but then Clifton picked up the boy, put him in a purple robe and then went outside.
When he came back, he said it was too late.
Hysterical, Marcotte was told to go over to a neighbor’s house and say the couple had been in a fight.
The two met later that day and tried to come up with a plan, one of which included framing the boy’s biological mother.
That’s when they agreed to tell police he had simply walked out the front door and disappeared.
On Friday, Clifton drove to work as usual with the boy’s body in the back seat of his truck.
The following day he then asked for his brother’s Durango, and that’s when he disposed of the body.
Marcotte claimed to not know where or how.
During that time, Clifton purposefully left his phone at home because of the GPS on it.
When he returned, they called police and implemented their plan.
Marcotte said she even sent text messages to the boy’s father to help give the impression they knew nothing about his disappearance and that the boy was still alive.
When asked why she didn’t tell police, she said Clifton threatened her saying he would take her down with him if she ever told anyone what had happened.
A recording taken on November 24, 2015 between the two was also used as evidence in the case.
In that conversation, Marcotte asked Clifton about Malik.
“What if they find his body?” she asked.
“We already talked about this. This is not the time to talk about this. We need to talk face-to-face,” he replied.
The next day they spoke again about the boy.
“They can’t come at you with nothin’,” Clifton was reported as saying.” The only person that [would] know is me. All you got to remember is to keep saying you don’t know…I don’t care what they say whatever they is saying, they don’t have anything… I don’t care what they say, they don’t have [expletive]. You know this. So I don’t care what they tell you they say it is.”
This is still an ongoing investigation.