Raleigh father pleads guilty in death of 2-year-old son

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ByEd Crump via WTVD logo
Friday, March 3, 2017
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Steven Daniel Blue in court

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh father pleaded guilty to reduced charges Friday in a 2014 case that triggered a statewide Amber Alert and ended with the discovery of his 2-year-old son's remains at Falls Lake.

Steven Daniel Blue, 34, had faced a first-degree murder charge in the death of his son Tristan Blue. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Friday. The plea deal calls for a sentence of 31-42 years in prison.

Police began investigating on Christmas Eve 2014 when the boy's mother called 911 to report Tristan missing at his home at the Arbor Creek Apartments off Buck Jones Road.

Tristan Blue
Courtesy: Raleigh Police Department

Blue told investigators he last saw the boy at 7:45 a.m. that Wednesday, but police were not contacted by 27-year-old Briana Dangerfield until 1:15 p.m.

Briana Dangerfield (image courtesy Raleigh-Wake City-County Bureau of Identification)

"I woke up 15 minutes ago. I worked overnight and the front door was open and there was a package on the porch and my 3-year-old was missing," she said.

Investigators initially said they believed the child may have wandered outside, issued an Amber Alert, and began an intensive search of the neighborhood.

The following Friday, the boy's remains were found in the water at Falls Lake in an area off of Creedmoor Road.

RELATED: Human remains found at Falls Lake

Search warrants in the case allege the boy's parents knew he was dead when they called 911 to report him missing.

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Memorial growing for 2-year-old Tristan Blue.
WTVD Photo/ WTVD/Elaina Athans

One warrant says Blue told investigators that the boy was "unresponsive" when he was taken out of the family's southwest Raleigh apartment. Police said the father told them he dumped the body at Falls Lake.

A prosecutor told a judge at a pre-trial hearing that the father made statements about smothering the boy.

RELATED: Father of dead boy charged with murder

The prosecutor also said Dangerfield hadn't seen the boy since Dec. 22.

Dangerfield is charged with attempting to conceal the murder, child abuse, destroying evidence, and accessory after the fact of murder.

RELATED: Mother of dead boy charged

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