Charlotte, North Carolina: Over the weekend the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department had a large break in the case of a 4-year-old that had not been seen since September and her mother is now facing charges of murder and child abuse.
On Friday, May 21 officers received information that led them to a residence in the 3700 block of Braden Drive concerning possible foul play. At that time homicide detectives began investigating the case as a homicide.
WCCB reports that several people voluntarily went ot the CMPD Headquarters and conducted interviews throughout the day. At the conclusion of those interviews, one of which was with 31-year-old Malikah Diane Bennett, the mother of Majellic "Jelly" Young, officers found sufficient probable cause to arrest her and file charges.
After investigators obtained a search warrant human remains, believed to be those of Majellic were recovered on Friday from the backyard where they had been buried.
"The totality of the circumstances indicate it is her," Lt. Brian Crum of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department stated during a Monday press conference. As of Monday, the medical examiner's report confirming identification and establishing cause of death was still pending.
"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," said Crum. "I've worked homicide for the last 10 years, and I can tell you that this case is deeply disturbing."
At this time Bennett is facing charges of first-degree murder, felony child abuse, inflicting physical injury, and felony concealment of a death. She was denied bond in a court appearance on Monday due to the murder charge.
Bennett's boyfriend resides at the home where Majellic was found, but he has been "definitively" ruled out as a suspect.
According to the Charlotte Observer Bennett has an additional three charges of misdemeanor child abuse dating to February 2020.
A statement issued by the Department of Social Services refused to state whether they had any previous dealings with Bennett.
"Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, we cannot release information that is likely to jeopardize the state's ability to prosecute the defendant, is likely to jeopardize the defendant's right to a fair trial, is likely to undermine an ongoing or future criminal investigation and could cause mental or physical harm or danger to a minor child residing in the deceased child's household," the statement read.
Officers did not disclose whether or not there were other children living in the home.
A GoFundMe established in order to assist with funeral costs for Majellic states that she had been raised by her father since she was two-months-old "when her mother decided she didn't want her." It was in September of last year that she was allegedly reintroduced to her mother, a short time before Bennett "took her. Vanished."
Bennett's next court date is not known at this time.
Editor's note: Other media outlets show a variety of spellings for Majellic's name. We have opted to go with the one from the GoFundMe account in her honor.