Body found in duffel bag identified as child missing for more than 4 months

The child's mother and her boyfriend have already been charged with murder in his disappearance.

Thursday, May 2, 2024
Body found in duffel bag identified as child missing for more than 4 months
Body found in duffel bag identified as child missing for more than 4 months

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The small child who was found dead inside a duffel bag in the Mantua section of Philadelphia back in March has been identified.

Police say the body is that of 4-year-old Damari Carter, who had been missing since late last year.

The duffel bag was discovered by city workers on the morning of March 18 on the 600 block of N. 38th Street.

An investigation into Damari's disappearance began on December 30, 2023, after family members said they had not seen him in weeks.

Damari's mother, 28-year-old Dominique Bailey from the Overbrook neighborhood, and her boyfriend, 30-year-old Kevin Spencer from West Philadelphia, have already been charged with murder in his disappearance.

The couple now faces several other charges as well, including abuse of a corpse.

Bailey reportedly told her family that the 4-year-old had been struck and killed by a car when they asked about the child's whereabouts.

However, police found no evidence of this incident.

Several days later, police were seen searching Spencer's house, and officers could be seen carrying out bags of evidence.

Police say Bailey provided information on her involvement in the death of her son on January 5.

According to an affidavit, back in December Bailey watched Spencer beat Damari until his head was swollen and his eyes were blackened.

The affidavit stated Bailey only recognized Damari was dead when she went to kiss him goodnight.

Police say a doorbell video shows Spencer dragging Damari's body out of his Mantua home in a bag the next day.

Damari's family spoke with Action News on Wednesday evening. They said they were heartbroken to hear how he was found.

"The way they found him is appalling," said Aiyana Parrish, Damari's cousin. "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy for someone to find him like that. And I applaud that worker who found him."

She also discussed her shock over her sister's alleged actions.

"I was heartbroken when I saw the report. I lived with her for years. Me and her shared a room together. I never expected anything like that to come from her," she said.

Parrish went on to say that if her sister didn't want to raise Damari, he was welcome at his father's home in Texas.

"His father wanted him. Why wouldn't you just, if it was overwhelming, just give him to his father?" she questioned. "He had everything Damari needed."

Now, she's just hoping Damari gets the justice he deserves.

"I'm glad they have found him because now he can get the proper rest he needs," she said. "(He was) a smiling, happy little boy. He never had a picture where he wasn't really smiling. He was always happy."

The family is now waiting for the boy's remains to give him a proper burial.

Meanwhile, Bailey and Spencer's preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 18.

Action News reached out to both of the suspects' lawyers on this case. Bailey's lawyer says his client maintains her innocence. We have yet to hear back from Spencer's attorney.