Autopsy reveals Deontae Mitchell, 13, wasn't shot
Detroit Police Chief James Craig and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan talk about the investigation into the kidnapping and death of 13-year-old Deontae Mitchell. They also praised the coordinated response from law enforcement with help from the community. John T. Greilick, The Detroit News
The 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped before his body was found in an overgrown east-side Detroit field did not die of gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner said Friday an autopsy for Deontae Mitchell was complete and the manner of death was pending further investigation.
Police announced earlier that the fourth suspect in Deontae's abduction and death was arrested at his home Friday morning without incident.
Chief James Craig said Roy Portis, 51, was being held at the Detroit Detention Center.
Gregory Walker remained jailed awaiting extradition Friday morning in Toledo after his arrest there Thursday.
Walker, a 45-year-old Detroiter, and a “female companion” arrested with him “have to go through an extradition hearing before they are brought back to Michigan,” Officer Jennifer Moreno said.
The woman’s alleged role in the kidnapping remained unclear.
Walker is accused of snatching Deontae Mitchell around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday outside Nino’s Market at 15901 E. Warren, less than five miles from where the boy’s body was found two days later near Harper and Baldwin.
The armed suspect grabbed Deontae on Tuesday night and forced him into a car. Detroit Police Department
Another suspect, Ernest Coleman, 30, was taken into custody Thursday at his Detroit home, Moreno said. Craig referred to Coleman as the third suspect in the case Friday. No further details were available about his arrest or alleged involvement in the abduction.
The police chief was joined by Mayor Mike Duggan at a news conference Friday where they praised the community for coming forth with information that led to arrests. Duggan said more than a half-dozen community members offered "critical pieces" to assist the investigation.
“The story of Deontae being senselessly killed over such a small amount of money is one that’s going to stay with us a long time," Duggan said. "When you lose a child in this community it leaves a hole in the family, it leaves a hole in the neighborhood, it leaves a hole in their school, it leaves a hole in the entire community.”
Officials with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office do not expect charges to be filed Friday, according to spokeswoman Maria Miller.
Deontae was kidnapped after riding bikes with his cousin to the market, police said. They saw Walker, who appeared to be intoxicated, drop money while urinating outside the store.
Deontae picked up the money and the pair rode away, according to the boy’s cousin.
Craig described the case as one involving “a defenseless young man and an adult who is frankly three times his size.”
“What’s the point of a weapon?" Craig said. "What’s the point of abducting a child?”
Family on Thursday stressed a different side of Deontae.
“He was the type of kid that would help an old lady cross the street, not snatch her purse,” said Ernest McFadden, the father of Deontae’s two older brothers. “He was that kid.”
McFadden accompanied Deontae’s mother, Crystal Mitchell, on Thursday afternoon to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, where they identified the boy’s body.
A spokesman with the medical examiner confirmed the identification Thursday. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Deontae was “the baby of the family” with two older brothers and an older sister, McFadden said. He was a bright kid who loved school and followed the rules.
“He believed in God. He believed in something better than everything going on in the world today,” McFadden said. “He believed in people, too. I guess that’s where he made his mistake.”
McFadden said the family is doing “a lot of praying” since Deontae’s “unbelievable” death.
“It’s happening to these kids every day, though,” he said of Detroit children becoming victims of violent crime. “Kids that still have their innocence and don’t know the world can be so cold and broken.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or contact Detroit police at (313) 596-5521 or (313) 596-1616. Anonymous tipsters may contact Crime Stoppers by calling (800) SPEAK-UP.