The human remains found last week in a northern Wake County lake during a search for missing toddler Tristan Blue are consistent with a child his age, Raleigh police announced Monday.
“While the testing needed to scientifically confirm an identification will take additional time to complete, the examination’s findings and other investigative information have led to a conclusion that the remains are his,” police said in a news release.
The boy’s father, Steven Blue, 31, has been charged with murdering him, and his mother made her first court appearance Monday on new charges that she hid facts about his murder and helped his father dispose of the body.
Briana Loriel Dangerfield, 25, called 911 on Christmas Eve afternoon to report that Tristan was missing, and told the dispatcher that the boy knew how to unlatch their apartment door.
Detectives ended their search for Tristan on Christmas Day, and said the next day that searchers had recovered human remains from Beaver Dam Lake, near a popular set of mountain bike trails in the Falls Lake State Recreation Area.
Dangerfield was first charged with child neglect. Over the weekend, though, she was charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder, destroying a body or remains to conceal a death, and altering, stealing or destroying criminal evidence. Police say she knew that Tristan’s father had killed the boy and concealed that and other details from investigators.
In court Monday, Dangerfield showed no emotion and uttered only one word, “Yes,” in acknowledging her name to Wake County District Court Judge Keith Gregory.
Gregory left her bail unchanged at $1 million.