Local North Carolina leader Dorian Cromartie was relieved when he heard an arrest had finally been made in the 2017 death of 5-year-old Paitin Fields.
“What happened to Paitin is horrific, 비참한, and unforgivable,” says Cromartie, first-vice chair of the National Black Leadership Caucus’s New Hanover Chapter, whose members have advocated for justice for the little girl since she died.
“We will never know what her potential was going to be or what she could have contributed to this world,” 그는 사람들에게 말한다. “Her life was cut short by a monster.”
11월에. 13, 2017, Paitin’s uncle, David Prevatte, and her step-grandfather drove Paitin, who was unresponsive, 동네 병원으로.
“I have a 5-year-old that was brought in,” a hospital worker said on the 911 전화, WWAY News 보고. “Strongly appears to be strangulation marks on her neck.”
Three days later, Paitin died in the hospital.
An autopsy showed she was strangled and sexually assaulted, 당국이 말했다.
금요일에, Prevatte, 23, was arrested in Bayou Blue, 그만큼., Pender County Sheriff Alan Cutler announced in a statement.
He is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree statutory rape, and statutory sex offense with child by adult, Cutler said.
Prevatte was taken into custody in Lafourche Parish on Friday after North Carolina investigators tracked his location to Bayou Blue, Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre 성명에서 말했다.
“Today’s arrest is the culmination of years of hard work,” District Attorney Ben David said Friday, WECT reports.
He was booked into the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex, where he will remain while he awaits extradition to North Carolina.
에 2018, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office named Prevatte as a suspect in Paitin’s murder, WECT News 6 보고.
“Being that there was only one person of interest, why did it take so long?” Cromartie asks.
“Finding out that he was down in Louisiana is alarming to me,” 그는 말한다. “Was he being monitored? He could have done this again.”
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Prevatte traveled to Louisiana after being released from prison in January 2020, WECT News 6 보고. He served approximately 10 개월.
3월 2019, Prevatte pleaded guilty to unrelated charges of intimidating a witness, as well as breaking and entering, larceny, and burning a building, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities alleged that Prevatte made threats against the lead investigator in Paitin’s slaying in a phone call to his mother, according to WECT.
에 2020, Paitin’s aunt, Amber Leggett, 말했다 WWAY TV3 that she believes her brother is innocent.
“The accusations of it being my brother, I don’t believe not one bit as much as he loved that child,” Leggett told WWAY News.
She also believes Paitin was not sexually assaulted.
“나는 그것을 믿지 않는다,” Leggett told the outlet. “She was born with birthmarks. They are known as Mongolian spots. They come out looking like bruises.”
Prevatte remains jailed while he awaits his next court date. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Cromartie hopes that justice will be served.
“I hope there is enough evidence against him to convince a jury for conviction so he can go away and never do this again,” 그는 말한다.
He says he is calling for justice for Paitin — and for other children who are being abused that people don’t even know about.
“People have to remember,” 그는 말한다, “this is one we caught.”
그는 계속한다: “We need to protect children.”