Court transcript shows attempt to save Evan Brewer

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Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

A court transcript from March 2017 shows how the father of now dead Evan Brewer tried to force the court system to rescue his son from alleged abuse.

It was in early September that three-year-old Evan Brewer was found dead in a ‘concrete structure’ in his mother’s former home. Since then, police have identified Miranda Miller and Stephen Bodine as people of interest in the boy's death. Miller was Brewer’s mother and Bodine is the reported boyfriend of Miller; both are jailed on charges unrelated to the toddler’s death.

On March 14, 2017, Carlo Brewer – Evan Brewer’s father – and his attorney and cousin Shayla Johnston attempted to make sure the boy was in good health during a hearing where the Department of Children and Families was pursing Brewer to pay child support.

Brewer was to pay $170 every month to Miller for child support. Attorney Shayla Johnston suspected that the child support was not going towards the boy's well-being but suspects both Miller and Bodine were using the money for drugs. During the hearing, there was the question if Evan Brewer was even alive because he hadn’t been seen for several weeks. Meanwhile, his mother was not able to be found either.

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“The State of Kansas cannot collect child support for a child that we don’t know is alive. And that’s what we are dealing with,” the court transcript reveals of Johnston’s comments. She felt at the time if the child support money goes away, that might motivate the boy’s mother and boyfriend to reveal themselves so Evan Brewer could be located.   

“This case has been frustrating from the beginning because we could not seem to get anybody to cut through the red tape of custody court,” Johnston said.

In an interview with KAKE News, she said that when there is a child custody dispute along with accusations of child abuse, it is hard to get the court system to help the child.

“It is a very easy legal question, when does a private custody matter become an emergency? When does it transfer out of a normal custody case into something the state should give more emphasis to,” Johnston said.

In the court transcript, Johnston and Carlo Brewer say that they have tried to work with Wichita Police and DCF (Department of Children and Families) to no avail.

From the court transcript describing Brewer’s experience with police:

“Mr. Brewer: I’ve already contacted them. They’ve went to the house. Nobody answers the door. They said the lights were on, and nobody answered, and they pretty much said their hands were tied.”

The Brewer family is now pushing for change to help prevent any other child in a similar situation – where there is not only a custody dispute but also allegations of abuse – from being hurt.

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Johnston is trying to get a dialogue going between the court system, DCF, lawyers and anyone else involved in these disputes and allegations, so to best serve the interest of the child’s safety. 

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