Darrius Young, father of murdered Meigellic (Jelli) 4, wants peace and justice!
By Celeste Hart
On Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021, Malikah Bennett, 31, held a cook-out in her back yard, on Braden Road, in Charlotte, where the food table stood above the burial ground of her own four-year-old daughter, Meigellic (mah’jel lick) Young, according to Darrius Young, 38, who nicknamed his baby girl, Jelli Bean. On Father’s Day, June 20th, Young still awaited the release of Jelli’s body, he said he just wanted his daughter to rest in peace.
“All she wanted was her daddy. My baby was the smartest child, and she was stubborn. She changed my life, or I would not be a licensed certified machine operator and pipe layer. I wanted to do so much for her,” said Young.
Young said Bennett dropped three-month-old Meigellic, off to him and his significant other, Antionette Austin who provided ‘that motherly love.’ Bennett never returned nor had any contact until he reached out and invited her over for Meigellic’s fourth birthday party, August 11, 2020. He said Meigellic began to wonder why other children had a mom. He wanted her to know Bennett yet did not have the desire to go through traumatic family court proceedings.
“Jelli didn’t know her mother or anybody in her family. Malikah said she was going to take her swimming and bring her back after the weekend. I tried to meet Malikah at a park to get Jelli, she played me, and never showed up. I saw her at the nail shop, she looked frantic. I knocked on her door, several different times, no answer. Young said her jeep was sitting over Jelli’s body the whole time!”
Meigellic’s body, allegedly, laid underground for approximately eight months, since September 2020, until May 21, 2021, when police arrested Bennett and charged her with felonies, first degree murder, destroying body remains, concealment of unnatural death and intentional child abuse causing physical harm. Bennett has several pending prior misdemeanor child abuse charges, January 2011, February and March 2020, a court hearing set for November 2021, involved several of her seven other children, many she lost custody of and is currently pregnant in jail.
On May 27th, police arrested Bennett’s mother, Tammy Moffet 53, charged with two felonies, accessory after the fact and concealing an unnatural death. Young said Moffett lied to him, claiming she saw Jelli during those eight months.
According to police, Moffett forced her 13-year-old daughter to assist in Jelli’s backyard burial, placed in two black bags. Young said he could not bring himself to view her decomposed body. His sister did and said she just saw fear in Jelli’s face.
“I was never contacted about Malikah’s other abuse charges. I just didn’t know,” said Young. “When Malikah continued to lie about Jelli’s whereabouts, I began my own investigation. I had the police come to her house where nobody answered, I told them to check the back yard, but they did not. They would not even list her as a missing child. I went to two DSS offices and requested a welfare check and was told we would be put in the system.”
Young said he could not rest that day, was not satisfied, and later called the 24- hour Child Abuse hotline.
“I thank God for the Black lady who answered the hotline, at 3am. She said I was not even in the system and immediately placed me in the computer. A few hours later, an officer called me and said he was looking into it,” said Young. “Malikah was already in police custody. My baby was already dead, for nine months. My whole family is messed up, all the way. Jelli and my mother were more like sisters. I worry more about them.”
Meigellic was properly laid to rest, Friday, July 9th, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, amongst a sea of family and friends donned in her favorite color, purple, and shirts with her pictures and the words, JUSTICE FOR JELLI.
“I did my job,” Young said.
“Her four years of life was short, but yet full of light everyday…she loved lip gloss, shades, butterflies and unicorns. A superstar was what she was going to be,” obituary excerpt.