CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. - A Jefferson City boy at the center of an AMBER Alert in what police are calling a murder-suicide. Police say a man who was a father figure to the boy is responsible.
Tarence Tullock, 6-year-old Markell Beasley's biological father, says he didn't even know he was Markell's dad until two years ago when the state started contacting him for child support. He says he tried to be a part of the boy's life and saw him every few months, but the contact ended when 40-year-old Demetrius Beasley got out of prison.
"I don't know what to say," said Tullock.
Tullock is at a loss for words after finding out his biological son died at the hands of an alleged child molester. Beasley was only allowed to be near children who were related to him. Still, police say Markell's mother allowed her son to travel from Jefferson City to St. Louis to join Beasley at a holiday party.
"It happened so fast. We went from one day hearing he was missing and then we found out he was gone," said Celeste Tullock, Markell's biological grandmother.
Investigators say on Christmas Eve Beasley shot Markell then turned the gun on himself inside a friend's Cape Girardeau home.
"It should have been prevented," said Tarence Tullock. He says he didn't want his son to be anywhere near Beasley so he took action and called Missouri's Department of Social Services. He says he never heard back, and now it's too late.
"If someone leaves a message, and they want you to call back to see if their kid is okay, why don't you call that person back?" he said.
A spokeswoman with the Department of Social Services says she can't comment on a specific case under Missouri law, but said "Children's Division responds to all reports alleging child abuse or neglect."
"I have a grandson that I will never get to see again, won't get to bond with him, won't get to do anything with him, and that's hard," said Celeste Tullock.
Markell's mother didn't want to talk, but her friend says the only reason she allowed her son to go to St. Louis is because Markell wanted to meet Beasley's new grandson at the party. Police are still looking into a motive for all of this.
The Cole County prosecuting attorney says once his office gets the complete report from law enforcement they will decide if more charges need to be issued.