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Missing 4-Year-Old Boy’s Body Found in Duffel Bag, Mother’s Car Accident Story Unravels as DNA Identifies Victim

Missing 4-Year-Old Boy’s Body Found in Duffel Bag, Mother’s Car Accident Story Unravels as DNA Identifies Victim

Philadelphia, PN: A missing 4-year-old boy’s body was found in a duffel bag. The boy’s mother had first said he was hit by a car.

Police say DNA evidence helped them find and identify the body of Damari Carter, 4, who went missing in December.

Police in Philadelphia say that on March 18, a boy’s body was found stuffed in a duffle bag in a neighborhood in West Philadelphia. The location was less than half a mile from where Damari lived with his mother, Dominique Bailey, who is 28 years old. Now, after two weeks, cops say DNA tests proved that the body was that of Damari, who is four years old.

The cops say that a maintenance worker in the Mantua neighborhood found a Puma bag in the alley behind the 600 block of North 38th Street.

Police said in a news release that the body was so “severely decomposed” that they couldn’t figure out who it was at first. It wasn’t until DNA testing that they found out it was Damari.

Family members first told the police that 4-year-old Damari was missing on December 30 because they hadn’t seen her in weeks. Police said they couldn’t find any record of the accident, even though his mother said he had died in a car accident.

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Police had told Damari’s family that they probably wouldn’t find his body, according to Aiyana Parrish, Damari’s cousin.

The boy was reportedly being beaten on December 7, and Bailey and her boyfriend Kevin Spencer’s downstairs neighbor “heard Damari screaming.” This is what Staff Inspector Ernest Ransom of the Philadelphia Police Department told PEOPLE at the time.

A police report that PEOPLE obtained says that Bailey finally told investigators that her son had died soon after being beaten and that Spencer had then put his body “in a trashcan,” but she wouldn’t say where else it was. Police also say that security footage they got shows Spencer “dragging a trash bag out of the house,” which is what the report says.

Kevin Spencer, left, and Dominique Carter.

A police report says that Bailey told investigators in January that she saw Kevin Spencer beat Damari often and that on the day he went missing, Spencer beat him so badly that his head was swollen and his eyes were black.

After Damari’s death in January, Bailey and Spencer were both arrested and charged with a number of crimes, such as murder, endangering the welfare of a child, abuse of a body, and conspiracy. Court records show that the couple will be back in court on June 18. Police say the murder probe is still going on. It’s not clear if they have hired lawyers to speak for them.

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