DETROIT — The abduction and murder of 13-year-old Deontae Mitchell has shocked a city already reeling from a spate of child killings.
Police have apprehended two of three suspects believed to be involved in the death of Mitchell, whose body was found in a field and positively identified Thursday afternoon. Mitchell had been abducted at gunpoint Tuesday night on the city’s eastside after biking with his cousin. Before he was kidnapped, Mitchell had picked up money dropped by Gregory Walker as he was urinating against an exterior grocery store wall, Mitchell’s cousin told police.
Surveillance video captured what happened next.
Walker, holding a nickle-plated revolver, is seen grabbing Mitchell by an arm and forcing him into the open rear passenger door of a black Chevy Impala. The car was later found near I-94 on the eastside.
Walker, 45, was arrested early Thursday in Toledo, Ohio, about an hour from Detroit. (He was with an unidentified person, who was also detained. ) Walker has been convicted multiple times for receiving or concealing a stolen motor vehicle. He’s also been convicted of cocaine possession and a firearms charge.
“This should be a message to all who perpetrate crimes against children: we’re going to continue in a very relentless way to find you and bring you into custody,” police chief James Craig said. “We’re talking about a defenseless child. An adult male with a gun. Once again, another coward preying on children that needs to stop.”
Hours later police took Ernest Coleman into custody as a suspect in the child’s death, said Sgt. Michael Woody.
Police are still searching for 51-year-old felon Roy Portis in connection with Mitchell’s death. Records show he last lived on Lenox Street, near the site of the kidnapping, and that he was convicted for arson in 2011 and four years earlier for receiving stolen property. (Portis was discharged from probation in November 2014.) The Michigan State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation and have joined the manhunt for Portis.
Several Detroit children have been killed or injured by gunfire in recent months. On Easter, a 3-year-old girl was caught in a hail of bullets and died. In April, a 4-year-old boy was shot and his father was killed, then a 6-year-old girl playing in a yard was shot in her back. In May, a 2-year-old was shot, and a 5-year-old died after accidentally shooting herself with a gun found under her grandmother’s pillow.
“Downtown is looking all beautiful and everything but in the ‘hoods, we can’t keep our children alive,” said Darlene Sanders, a hair stylist who lives on the city’s west side who was having lunch at a downtown restaurant. “It’s a damned shame. I don’t know what’s wrong with people.”