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Missing Baby Levon: What's next legally?
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - While it is the outcome nobody wants to even consider in the case of missing baby Levon Wameling, it is one for which Utica Police and the Oneida County District Attorney's office must prepare.
Officials say they have to plan for the possibility of baby Levon never turning up and if that is the case, can they even have a murder case without a body of a victim?
Police are currently on their own as the child's father, Jevon Wameling, the last person to see him on the porch of 748 Jay Street in Utica has asked for a lawyer. That means that only way police are talking to him now, is if and when they arrest him.
According to Jevon, who is no longer talking to police, nine month old Levon has already been missing for two weeks.
"After a certain period of time, there's a presumption that a person is dead if the person's not seen or anything," said Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara.
D.A. McNamara says his office has never prosecuted a murder case without a body. It can be done, but the long-time prosecutor acknowledges that it would not be easy.
"That makes for a weakness in the case because we would have to prove that the child is dead if we were going to charge some sort of crime against somebody for the death of the child," McNamara said.
McNamara is confident someone holds the answers that police and the child's family members seek
"Somebody knows where the baby is or the baby's body is," McNamara said. "There's no doubt in anybody's mind. It didn't just get up and walk away from the porch."
If that person does not say what they know and baby Levon does not turn up, it is a difficult, uphill legal battle that lies ahead.
"There's no doubt this is going to be a complicated and difficult journey for the whole community to go through unless we can find this baby and hopefully find it alive and well," McNamara said.
Volunteers for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were very busy Wednesday afternoon, distributing flyers to businesses in the area of where baby Levon was last seen.
They are asking the Bleecker and Jay Street businesses to display the flyers and hand them out to their customers.
Currently, they are only doing this at a local level. If and when local police contact the center headquarters in Virginia, the center would do a large-scale, national poster distribution.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Levon Wameling or what may have happened to him, you are asked to call Utica Police at 315-735-3301.