Warrants indicate baby was dead in trash bag


A 20-month-old was found dead in a plastic garbage bag in the closet of the townhouse where he lived with his mother and 2-year-old half sister.

According to search warrants (click here to read) obtained by Eyewitness News Wednesday, the boy was found by a relative just after 10 p.m. Friday. The relative, identified only as "he," in the warrants, told police he found the body of Devarion Gross sealed in a white plastic garbage bag inside a grey plastic bin in an upstairs bedroom closet.

Garner investigators sealed off the scene and four hours later obtained the first search warrant for the residence on Spring Drive. They collected evidence from that location.

Eyewitness News cameras were on the scene Saturday and again on Monday when police removed boxes of evidence. Among the things they seized; children's clothing and a diaper, bed linens, cleaning supplies, including bleach, fluid, hair, white plastic bags, a wooden stick, vacuum cleaner contents, and a pill bottle for what appears to be a prescription anti-depressant.

The warrants also say Garner Police were contacted by Child Protective Services on November 3, "Regarding a welfare check on Devarion Gross, DOB 3/7/07."

The warrant says, "The caller to Child Protective Services expressed concern that Devarion Gross had not been seen by anyone since Labor Day, 2008."

A Garner police detective confirmed, according to the warrant, that Sherita McNeil was the mother of Devarion. He located family members and attempted to set up a meeting with McNeil and Devarion last Thursday. Family members told the detective that when they told McNeil of the request she was "acting strangely."

The meeting never took place and that's when a family member decided to use a key to the townhouse to check on McNeil and the children. That was Friday evening.

Police were at the home for the next three days and served a second search warrant on the residence Monday. The affidavit in that search warrant indicates McNeil was last seen by her family with only her 2-year-old daughter on Thursday. Investigators indicate they found McNeil and the little girl after staking out another home in Garner.

The second warrant indicates McNeil's children have two different fathers, both of whom are in jail and one "a known gang member." An inventory of evidence attached to that warrant also shows police seized "various gang writings to include symbols, letters, and journals" in the townhouse.

The Garner Police Department told Eyewitness News it would not comment on the warrant. The department will only say it is investigating the case as a suspicious death and is awaiting autopsy results.

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