‘How can you do this to a child?’ Community pays tribute to 4-year-old found buried in yard

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 11:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Migellic “Jelli” Young was just 4 years old when she was killed, and her mother allegedly buried her in the backyard of their home in Charlotte.

Angry, grieving family members, friends and people in the community are fighting for justice for the little child.

The 4-year-old Charlotte girl’s remains were found last week, and her mother and grandmother have been arrested and charged.

On Friday, a memorial was held for the child at Camp Greene Park in Charlotte.

It was hosted by Mothers of Murdered Offspring (MOMO).

“I am a mother, and I am also a grandmother,” said Jenicia Hairston, from Mothers of Murdered Offspring. “And I’m going to be honest, I was (expletive) off.”

Words of frustration replaced many words of comfort, even for a founder of an organization whose sole purpose is to heal.

“Your human nature is going to bring anyone angry about this,” Hairston said. “This was a child at the hands of its own Mother.”

“How can you do this to a child? I don’t understand,” cousin Monique Hemphill said. “Jelli was such a sweet baby. She didn’t deserve it.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were called out last week to a house along Braden Drive. In the backyard, investigators found the buried remains of the 4-year old.

On Friday night, luminaries lined a table with little Jelli’s picture.

Jelli was last seen in the care of her mother at the home last September. Then, nothing for months.

Malikah Diane Bennett, the child’s mother, was arrested last week and charged with several crimes including felony child abuse, inflicting physical injury, felony concealing a death and first-degree murder.

Then, Jelli’s grandmother, Tammy Moffett, was also arrested charged with concealing a death and accessory after the fact.

At the memorial Friday night, her father, friends and family grappled with what happened.

“You look up to your sister because she’s watching over y’all,” a family member said.

There were also balloons and tears.

However, through the pain, there were also calls for justice and preparation for many hard days ahead.

“It is going to be hard. Christmas. Her birthday. Her anniversary of death,” Hairston said.

The grandmother was given a $10,000 bond. Jellie’s mother had her bond denied.

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