Anthony Dibiah is a 37-year-old Indianapolis, Indiana, man accused of murdering his 10-year-old son, Nakota Kelly earlier this month.
Police say that Dibiah told two friends on the phone that he murdered the boy by smothering him and asked to borrow a suitcase, according to a probable cause affidavit. Police believe Nakota even told his mother, before he went to spend the weekend with his father, that she shouldn’t expect to see him again.
“My dad is going to kill me,” Nakota said, according to the affidavit.
Dibiah is in police custody and charged with the murder of his son.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Arrested Dibiah After Two Investigating 2 Tips From People Who Said He Called Them & Confessed to Killing His Son
According to the probable cause affidavit reviewed by Heavy, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department got two tips by phone on July 18 and 19 by friends of Dibiah, both of whom said he had called them confessing to murdering his son, Nakota.
At 9:26 p.m. on July 18, Dibiah called the first friend, who is not identified in the affidavit.
“I just killed my son,” Dibiah screamed while crying, according to the affidavit.
Dibiah told the friend — whom he hadn’t spoken to in almost 20 years — that the mother of his son had been causing trouble for him in court, and that he was planning to call the police. Dibiah also asked his friend to give him his address, and when he refused, Dibiah became angry, prompting the friend to hang up and call the police.
Officers went to Dibiah’s apartment for a welfare check after they got that call. They could hear someone inside, but did not believe they had cause to make a forced entry, the affidavit states. Dibiah’s white Jeep Patriot was parked outside, according to the officers.
The next day, police got a second call, from another friend of Dibiah. The second friend, also unnamed, said Dibiah called him in the morning, asking to borrow a suitcase. After the friend agreed and hung up, Dibiah called him back and confessed to killing his son.
He even described how he did it: Dibiah claimed to have used a bag to suffocate Nakota until he stopped breathing. Then, he told the friend, according to the affidavit, he took the boy to the bathroom to make sure he was dead, before dumping the body. The friend called police immediately and gave them Dibiah’s cell number.
2. Police Found a Great Deal of Disturbing Evidence Inside Dibiah’s Apartment & Saw Him Making Multiple Trips Back & Forth in the Wee Hours of July 19
Officers went to Dibiah’s apartment, after the two phone calls gave them cause to enter, and forced entry. Inside, they found a great deal of disturbing physical evidence, including blood splattered on the ceiling, floor and walls, pieces of brain matter on the bathroom floor and black curly hairs.
Reviewing surveillance footage from the apartment complex, police also found that Dibiah left around 2:30 a.m. on July 19, returning at 3:15. He left again at 4:20, returning 25 minutes later. He then left again, returning at 7:45. Police saw Dibiah open the Jeep’s hatchback and make three trips loading unidentified items into the back. He also was seen putting a bag of some sort into the complex’s community dumpster, according to the affidavit.
Using the video surveillance and Dibiah’s cell phone, police tracked him to Highway 38 in Macon County, Missouri, headed westbound. He was arrested, but Nakota was not in the car with him, the affidavit stated. Police brought him to Macon County Jail.
3. Police Say Nakota Told His Mother the Day Before He Was Likely Killed That She Wouldn’t See Him Again: ‘My Dad Is Going to Kill Me,’ He Said
— IndyStar (@indystar) July 23, 2020
After Dibiah was arrested, an Indianapolis detective learned that Nakota was the subject of an open Department of Child Services case. In speaking with the assigned caseworker, he learned some disturbing information: Nakota told his mother days before that his father would kill him.
According to the affidavit, Nakota’s mother told the case worker that on July 14, Nakota asked her if he was going to spend the weekend at his father’s place. When she answered yes, the case worker told police, Nakota said, “Oh, I’m dead. Don’t expect me to come home.”
Nakota told his mother that Dibiah was angry with him because he had recently hung up on him during a phone call. “My dad is going to kill me,” he said.
And the day after police believe Nakota was killed, the boy’s mother again called the case worker. Around 2:01 p.m., she told the case worker, Dibiah texted her, saying, “Sometimes I hear voices. My son is in Heaven.”
Nakota’s mother posted a photo of Nakota to Facebook, pleading for help in finding him after “his dad ran with him,” the Indianapolis Star reported.
4. Child Welfare Advocates & Relatives of Nakota Say, ‘The System Failed’ Him, Because He Was the Subject of a Child Services Case When He Was Killed
Remember, just because the reported number of calls to our hotline are down does not mean children are safe or are not being harmed. If you suspect abuse or neglect, we urge you to call: 1-800-800-5556. pic.twitter.com/6hmvZqNQ0P
— Indiana DCS (@IndianaDCS) July 17, 2020
Per the police affidavit, the state’s Department of Child Protective Services had an open case on Nakota, and documented the disturbing statements his mother said he made about Dibiah.
Nakota’s former foster parents, Phil and Debbie Bogue, told the Indianapolis Star that they viewed Nakota as their grandson and knew that his mother had made multiple complaints to DCS about Nakota’s safety with Dibiah.
The Bogues alleged that the complaints ranged from Dibiah not feeding Nakota enough to “worse” things, but the court system never did anything because there wasn’t enough information provided.
“The system failed Nakota. That’s the bottom line,” Phil told the paper. “The system failed Nakota and it cost him his life.”
The case sparked anger on Twitter as well. “Instead of corporate welfare and building bigger bombs, what we need to completely overhaul is this nation’s inept children ‘protection’ services,” journalist Suri Crowe tweeted.
A blog called Suffer the Little Children called it “yet another case in which DCS and the courts utterly failed a child, despite his mother’s pleas for help.”
Heavy reached out to DCS for comment, but Communications Director Noelle Russell said state law prohibits the agency from sharing information about its involvement with families.
“The hardest thing the Indiana Department of Child Services is called to do in its service to Hoosier families is investigate the death of a child,” Russell said. “We grieve the loss of every child and will work with our state and local partners, including the court and law enforcement, throughout the investigation regarding Nakota Kelly to ensure we are all doing our part to keep Indiana’s children safe.”
5. Nakota’s Body Still Has Not Been Found & Dibiah Is Still at the Macon County Jail
On July 20, police met with Dibiah and his court-appointed attorney at the Macon County Jail, but he refused to say anything, according to the affidavit.
Police announced Tuesday in a release that although they have Dibiah in custody, they still had not found Nakota’s remains. They did find possible bloodstains in the back of his Jeep, which was impounded, according to the affidavit.
“Detectives have information and evidence to believe 10-year-old Nakota Kelly is deceased,” police said. “They continue to search for the remains … We are asking the community for assistance in this case.”
On July 20, officers and detectives investigated a wooded area where Dibiah’s cellphone pinged the day before, searching for Nakota’s body, according to the affidavit, but apparently nothing was found.
Heavy reached out to police for an update, but had not heard back as of Thursday afternoon.