The mother of a 3-year-old missing girl has been implicated in her death. Also arrested is the mother’s boyfriend, who is accused of kidding the girl in the head.
Desiree Merrell, 23, initially told police that she and her boyfriend, 29-year-old Corey Hagwell, had last seen 3-year-old Adelynn Merrell playing in the backyard of their Florida home. Four hours after she was reported missing, Adelynn’s body was discovered in the woods.
Now, Merrell has told police the sinister story of how things allegedly went down. She claimed that the couple was driving with the girl, who was supposed to be strapped into her carseat. Hagwell became upset when the girl got out of her car seat and kicked her in the head, later locking her in a closet at home. Police have accused Merrell of helping her boyfriend trap Adelynn in the closet and say she may have done this before.
Adelynn was one of two children who neighbors say they found after the pair broke a window and escaped after being locked in a room together in September. Police rescued that second child, a 5-year-old boy, from the home following Adelynn’s death. The boy weighs a mere 33 pounds, while the average healthy 5-year-old typically weighs about 43 pounds. That varies depending on the child, of course, but authorities said this boy had numerous protruding bones and other signs of malnourishment. Neither child was fathered by Hagwell. It’ll be curious to see if these two losers turn on each other in court, as they so often do.
Feature imaged: Desiree Merrell (Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office)