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Toddler's body found

UPDATED: A

Family of Aveion Lewis speaks out

January 27, 2010
  • Last week, police charged Brandon Lockett with felony child neglect, improper disposal of a human body and obstruction of justice.
Last week, police charged Brandon Lockett with felony child neglect, improper disposal of a human body and obstruction of justice.

UPDATED Thursday 5:06 p.m.

Roanoke police are still waiting on a positive ID on the body of a toddler found in a Roanoke County landfill.

They believe it's the body of Aveion Lewis.  The two-year-old was reported missing on January 14.

His stepfather, Brandon Lockett, has been charged in connection with his death after he told investigators the baby was kidnapped.

Commonwealth's Attorney Don Caldwell tells News7 his office had planned on pursuing murder charges at the next grand jury on Monday.  But because of the recent discovery of the body, he will now withdraw that charge and wait on the medical examiner's report.

Lockett isn't due back in court until March.

UPDATED WEDNESDAY 11:30 PM

News7 sits down with the family of Aveion Lewis

News7 talked to Aveion Lewis' family Wednesday after police announced that the body of a small child found in a Roanoke County landfill may be that of the toddler.

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Holding back tears, Chris Ward reacts to the news his nephew's body may have found.

"He was a fighter, he had a big heart," says Aveion's uncle Chris Ward.

As they wait for official word from the medical examiner's office, Aveion's family is trying to come to terms with the fact his remains may have been found in of all places a landfill.

"He didn't deserve, no kid deserve that. I couldn't even fathom another human being doing that to a child," says Ward.

The boy's step father Brandon Lockett so far has been charged with improper disposal of a body, felony child neglect, and obstruction of justice.

Initially he told police and News 7 the two year old was kidnapped from his home by three intruders nearly two weeks ago.

Police say Lockett admitted last week the boy was dead.

Online court records indicate a murder case will be presented to a grand jury on Monday and the grand jury could charge Lockett with murder.

"Personally, I hope they let him go. I hope they let him walk the streets... that's what I want. I just rather see him out here and get street justice than jail justice," says Ward.

Police declined to say whether Aveion's mother will eventually face charges.

The family is concentrating on making funeral plans.  It looks like it will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. at St. Matthew's Word of Life Church.

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UPDATED: Wednesday @ 5 p.m.

Police found the body of a small child at the Smith Gap landfill in Roanoke County around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

The body was found in the landfill among trash from Aveion Lewis' neighborhood.  The body was sent to the medical examiner for a positive ID.                  

Police had been searching the landfill for Aveion's body.  He disappeared on January 14.  At the time, his stepfather, Brandon Lockett, allegedly made up a story about the toddler being kidnapped.  Police later discovered there was never a kidnapping and they believe Aveion was dead before 911 was called.

According to court documents, prosecutors will present their case for a murder charge to a grand jury on February 1st.

Last week, police charged Lockett with felony child neglect, improper disposal of a human body and obstruction of justice.

News7's Justin McLeod will have more tonight on News7 at 10 & 11.

Here is the full news release:

Roanoke Police Department Continues Investigation into the Death of Aveion Malik Lewis.

Roanoke, VA- Since the initial report of the disappearance of Aveion Malik Lewis, the Roanoke Police Department has been committed to locating him.  The initial investigation was treated as an abduction.

However, due to conflicting information during the initial investigation, investigators identified and located trash collected from the immediate area of the 2100 block of King Charles Avenue.  The trash was secured at the Smith Gap Landfill operated by the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority.

Searches of the trash were conducted as the weather permitted.  On January 27, search teams made a discovery while searching the trash collected from the immediate area of the 2100 block of King Charles Avenue.  The Medical Examiner's Office was contacted, and personnel from that office responded and confirmed the discovery is that of the body of a small child.  The child's body has been transported to the Medical Examiner's Office to determine identity and cause of death.

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