Tuesday, June 17, 2014

3 Year Old's Statements Lead to Homicide Investigation

The 3-year-old son of a missing North Carolina teacher told investigators that he hadn’t seen his mother since her boyfriend “kicked mommy’s butt and made her cry,” it was reported Monday.

The little boy was interviewed by detectives after his mother, Bianca Tanner, 31, disappeared from her Charlotte home on June 7, WSOC-TV reported.

Tanner had recently moved in with her boyfriend, Angelo Smith, after getting a job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the news station reported.

Smith told investigators that he had an argument with Tanner when she was drunk before she left the apartment carrying a bag, according to warrants obtained by the news station.
But the case turned into a homicide investigation after cops talked to Tanner’s son, who said his mother was attacked.
Bianca Tanner, 31, disappeared just weeks after she moved in a Charlotte apartment with her boyfriend, Angelo Smith.FACEBOOKBianca Tanner, 31, disappeared just weeks after she moved in a Charlotte apartment with her boyfriend, Angelo Smith.
“Mommy got a spanking with a belt,” the unidentified child told police, the documents show.

Note that even a 3 year old's language can be seen as straight forward and simple.  It also reveals what he experienced. 

Angelo kicked mommy’s butt and made her cry.

The toddler later said that “Angelo is mean to mommy and hurt mommy in the face.

Note repetition of "mommy" making her very important to him.   The 3 year old's statements are credited with turning this into a homicide investigation.  It is not likely that the 3 year old will be called to the stand to testify.  

In a child protective case in which the 3 year old will be placed, possibly with relatives, his statements can be used.  

In interviewing a child, police must be very careful to:

1.  not give him any language.  This begins with "What happened?"
2.  get him to describe his own language

It appears he used "spanking", which would then lead them to ask, "What is a spanking?" and "where does spanking happen?"

Each word that he uses is then asked about, just as "Analytical Interviewing" is used in adult interviews.  

Court papers show that investigators are searching for a belt or paddle, cellphones and the clothes Tanner was wearing during the alleged assault, WSOC-TV reported.

Police say Tanner disappeared from her Charlotte apartment just weeks after she moved to the area.
Police are also searching for any evidence of blood inside the Druid Circle apartment.

Smith — who had an outstanding warrant for domestic battery in Arkansas after trying to smother his girlfriend during a fight — was not named as a suspect in Tanner’s disappearance, the news station reported.

Tanner moved in late May from Greensboro, where she taught second grade at Reedy Fork Elementary School in Greensboro


elf said...

Heartbreaking :( her poor baby saw it all. Mom's - DO BACKGROUND CHECKS ON YOUR NEW PRINCE CHARMING!

Anonymous said...

I agree elf. It's so sad the things that some kids are forced to witness. Thank God the bf didn't turn on the "witness".

Obviously idk the mothers personality, but she looks like a beautiful woman. Why some women don't value themselves more, idk.

Unknown said...

How sad!

Anonymous said...

'Out of the mouths of babes'
my heart hurts for that child.


REK said...

Id love to see you do an article on the 3 year old who had been attacked by dogs and the grandmother claims KFC asked them to leave. Now KFC is offering them thousands of dollars but something seems a little off with Grandma's story

Skeptical said...

This reminds me of the Jessie Davis and Bobby Cutts case in Ohio several years ago. The 2 year old also witnessed his mother's murder and said his Mommy was hurt and wrapped in a blanket. Out of the mouths of babes.

Tania Cadogan said...

Yet kate and gerry mccann have refused point blank to ler their remining 2 children to be interviewed by police from the get go.

Now why would that be then?

Surely innocent parents would allow the children who had been sleeping in the same room as their big sister to talk in case they had woken up and seen or heard something?

Kate even admitted * big leaked marble) that the children surprise her by remembering things from when they were younger.

Is she and gerry scared the twins might remember not seeing thier sister for a day or so or saw or heard more than the parents thought when they found Maddie dead/killed her and subsequently diisposed of her remains that night and in the weeks following via the hire car.

Anonymous said...

Her killer would have ended up killing her son had he not killed her first. Then we would have been discussing how she failed to protect.

Anonymous said...

she looks awesome in her work outfit. RIP

Anonymous said...

my guess - BF got threatened "his" Lady was gaining traction professinally. jealousy fueled murder