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Autopsy: 4-year-old found decomposed, buried in Charlotte yard was malnourished

Migellic “Jellie” Young’s remains were found buried and decomposed outside of a home on Braden Drive, near Charlotte’s Firestone Park last May
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 1:04 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The autopsy report of a 4-year-old Charlotte girl who was found buried in a yard revealed the young child was malnourished, abused and had acetone and ethanol in her system.

Migellic “Jellie” Young’s remains were found buried and decomposed outside of a home on Braden Drive, near Charlotte’s Firestone Park last May.

“Jellie” was found in plastic bags, according to the report.

“Toxicologic analysis of bloody fluid sample obtained at autopsy from the pleural cavity was positive for the presence of acetone and showed an ethanol content of 80 mg/dL,” the autopsy report said. “The presence of acetone and ethanol are likely due to decomposition.”

According to the report, there was evidence of malnutrition.

“The child appears very thin, with scaphoid abdomen, visible ribs, apparent loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the periorbital region with sunken appearance to eyes,” the report said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reported evidence of physical abuse of the child when “Jellie” was last known to be alive.

According to the medical examiner, the manner of death is homicide.

“There was evidence of disordered eating, i.e. a clump of hair within large bowel content,” according to the autopsy report. “If there was concomitant disordered fluid intake, a state of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance may have been present. In my opinion, in light of the circumstances, the manner of death is homicide.”

“Jelli” was last known to be seen in September, 2020, according to police.

The child’s mother, Malikah Diane Bennett, was arrested and charged with felony child abuse, inflicting physical injury, felony concealing a death, and first-degree murder. Tammy Moffett, 53, was also charged with concealing a death and accessory after the fact (murder).

Neighbors told WBTV Tammy Moffett is the child’s grandmother.

Friends of the family said Bennett had at least eight kids.

According to the arrest warrant, police say Bennett inflicted serious bodily injury on Majelic, causing black eyes, bruises and swelling.

An arrest warrant for child abuse in March of 2020 says she left another child alone for more than 24 hours.

Court records also show that in January of 2011 she was arrested for misdemeanor child abuse and pled guilty.

“I’ve worked homicide most of the last 10 years and I can tell you this case is deeply disturbing,” said CMPD Lt. Bryan Crum. “It’s disturbing to everyone who’s worked it. Crime scene investigators, detectives, everyone involved in this case – many of us are parents, and it’s very difficult to understand how someone could do this to their child, kill their child and bury them and move on with their life as if nothing happened.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say the child was last seen at her mother’s home for a visit in September. Since then, they received reports that the little girl hadn’t been seen for some time.

“I mean gone for so long. I’m a mother myself,” neighbor Shanetta Bunting said. “If my child was gone one day, I would be losing it, so I just can’t imagine what the family is dealing with right now in knowing something has happened and it was right there in front of their faces in a sense.”

Officers contacted the Missing Person’s Unit and “Very quickly they become concerned foul play may have been involved,” said CMPD Lieutenant Stephen Fischbach. “...Certainly that’s concerning when no one can account for a child that amount of time.”

Bennett, the girl’s mother, also has three pending misdemeanor child abuse charges from February 2020, according to a search of public records.

Migellic Young
Migellic Young(Photo provided by family | Photo provided by family)

The family members at the courthouse said Jellie returned to live with her mother in the fall, and that was the last time they said they saw the girl.

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