A former Macon man has been charged with child neglect, improper disposal of a human body and obstruction of justice in connection with the disappearance of a 2-year-old boy in Roanoke, Va., according to Roanoke police.
Brandon Real Lockett, 24, initially told Roanoke police that three men knocked him unconscious, ransacked his house and restrained a 4-year-old girl before taking his stepson Jan. 14. He said the men also left a ransom note demanding $10,000, according to a report in The Roanoke Times.
In the days since 2-year-old Aveion Lewis’ disappearance, authorities issued an Amber Alert and launched a ground search for the boy.
Tuesday, Lockett told police the toddler was dead before he was reported missing. That same day, police said that they questioned Lockett’s story, according to a news release.
Lockett is being held at the Roanoke City Jail without bond.
Other charges may be presented before a grand jury in February, Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Caldwell told the Roanoke newspaper.
Although searches continued Wednesday, Aveion’s body hasn’t been found.
Virginia court records show that Lockett married the boy’s mother in April 2008.
Before the marriage, Georgia court records describe several run-ins that Lockett had with the law in Bibb County.
Bibb County State Court records show Lockett pleaded guilty to family violence-related simple battery and criminal trespass in 2006 and 2007. The victim was described in court records as the mother of Lockett’s infant child, a different woman than Aveion. He was sentenced to probation.
Lockett also was charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer Aug. 21, 2006, for running away from police. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, according to court records.
On March 13, 2007, his probation was revoked because he failed to report for probation. Lockett was ordered to serve 60 days in jail and then return to probation, according to the records.
Lockett was indicted in Bibb County Superior Court on June 13, 2007, on charges that he possessed marijuana and cocaine with intent to distribute the cocaine, according to court records.
He pleaded guilty to simple possession of cocaine July 10, 2007, and was sentenced to three years on probation, according to court records.
Phone calls to Lockett’s mother, who lives in Macon, were unanswered Wednesday.
Search teams continued looking for Aveion’s body Wednesday along the Roanoke River and in wooded areas near the boy’s home, according to The Roanoke Times.
Jeanne Kauffmann and her black Labrador, Lakota, searched the muddy banks of the river with a Roanoke police detective and a police cadet.
They hiked around the winding bank, which at times was steep and covered in brush, looking under tarps, and directing Lakota to sniff out areas that looked suspicious.
At one point, Kauffmann pointed Lakota to a dirty pillow, but the dog didn’t signal that anything was there.
Roanoke police detective Rich Cooper said the investigation has been frustrating for police.
“We just want to find him,” he said.
Information from writer Amanda Codispoti of The Roanoke Times was used in this report.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.