INDIANAPOLIS (News Nation/WXIN) – The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) continues to search for the remains of Nakota Kelly. The 10-year-old boy is thought to have been murdered by his own father.
Court records claim the homicide took place despite concerns raised by the victim’s mother.
Friends and family of the victim’s mother believe the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and the court system failed to save the boy’s life after he said days earlier he expected to be killed if he had to stay with his father.
Inside the suspect’s apartment building, police claim Anthony Dibiah confessed to suffocating his son to death.
The apparent murder took place several days after the mother of Nakota Kelly filed a complaint with DCS concerned about her son’s safety.
“Obviously my heart goes out to that mother. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare and she took all the proper steps,” said family law attorney Lanae Harden.
Harden insists that while the mother followed the law by filing a complaint, she advises parents worried about their children’s well-being to call police to spark an immediate investigation.
“If you call child protective services, if there is imminent danger to the child, they have two hours to start an investigation and sometimes two hours is too long,” said Harden.
According to the affidavit, Nakota told his mom his dad was angry with him and said, “Oh, I’m dead. Don’t expect me to come home. My dad is going to kill me.”
“I say to the client if you are legitimately are concerned take that action. Call 911. Don’t allow that parenting time,” said Harden. “As a practicing attorney, I always err on the side of caution.”
Harden adds parents can also contact an attorney to file an emergency petition to modify parenting time, but admits the biggest obstacle is that many custody issues can be contentious and some parents don’t tell the truth.
“You know there are some bad actors that don’t want their child to have a relationship with the other parent and will make false claims,” said Harden.
While police in Missouri arrested Dibiah for murder, search efforts to find the boy’s body along Eagle Creek and elsewhere have turned up empty.
On Thursday, state police searched the lake at the father’s apartment complex.
In a written statement, a spokesperson at DCS said, “We grieve the loss of every child and will work with our state and local partners… to ensure we are all doing our part to keep Indiana’s children safe.”
“The system cannot 100 percent accurately deal with every case, because it’s judgement calls,” said Harden. “Is the system flawed? I think it’s flawed because we’re human and we don’t get it right 100 percent of the time.”
Once in custody, the suspect declined to talk to police. He is expected to be transported back to Indiana from Missouri to face the murder charge.