Man accused of stealing, burning dead toddler’s belongings appears in court
SALISBURY — Jessica Kepley had never met neighbor Bobby Milam until he performed CPR?on her 1-year-old son on Sept. 11, the day the little boy fell into a pond and died.
Several days later, authorities said they found the toddler’s possessions in a pile, burned, behind a mobile home Milam shared with his girlfriend, Jessica Nicole Williams.
Investigators said Milam and Willams had stolen those belongings along with other property when they broke into Kepley’s home during the funeral for the child, Parker Munn.
Milam, 26, and Williams, 22, both were scheduled to appear in Rowan County District Court on Wednesday.
Milam waived his right to a probable cause hearing. Williams’ case was continued, and she did not appear in court.
Relatives for both defendants were in courtroom. Milam’s case will now be moved to Rowan County Superior Court. It could be a year before his trial, relatives said.
Kepley and Nicholas Munn, Parker James Lee Munn’s parents, were accompanied by about a dozen family members.
They knew Milam could waive the probable cause hearing. He’s charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, felony obtaining property by false pretense and felony arson.
They also knew he could opt for a plea deal.
“I?just wish he would have pleaded guilty in there,” Kepley said outside the courtroom. “I don’t know why he wants to string this out and have to relive that week every time we come here.”
Several Rowan investigators also were in court for the hearing Wednesday.
Milam did not speak. He appeared somber.
Kepley said the accused couple had moved in just days before her son died.
On Sept. 11, Parker wandered from the family’s home to a small decorative pond in another neighbor’s yard. Witnesses told officers the child liked to go down to the pond with his parents.
Parker was found in the pond and could not be revived. Milam performed CPR on the child.
When Kepley and Munn returned to their Rockwood Drive home following the 1-year-old’s funeral, they found their home ransacked and items from the child’s room missing.
Behind a nearby mobile home rented by Milam and Williams, investigators found a blackened pile contained soot and the burned remnants of the 1-year-old’s birth certificate book, a picture frame and an angel ornament.
The ornament had hung on the wall of the child’s room.
On green and gold ribbons, Parker’s picture was pinned to the lapels of relatives in court Wednesday. He was the couple’s only child.
“I just don’t understand how somebody can do CPR on a kid and take their stuff and burn it,” she said. “It just makes no sense to me.”
Kepley and Munn are still missing items that were taken from the home. Deputies believe Milam and Williams sold some of the items at area pawn shops.
Investigators ask anyone with additional information about the missing items to call the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700 or Crime Stoppers at 866-639-5245.