Dallas Police Internal Investigation Launched in D'Lisa Kelley Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas police have launched an internal investigation of their handling of the disappearance of D’Lisa Kelley and released a detailed timeline on the case. (Published Friday, Mar 28, 2014)

    The Dallas Police Department has launched an internal investigation of their handling of the disappearance of a pregnant mother found dead a week after she went missing.

    D'Lisa Kelley, a 24-year-old pregnant mother of a young child, was found dead in an abandoned house in the 2100 block of Presidio Avenue on March 14. Kelley had been missing for a week prior to police finding her body.

    Kelley's family members said they called 911 on March 7, after they received a phone call from her at about 6 p.m. 

    “She was screaming, telling the dude to get off of her, stop. And he was telling her to stop screaming,” Kelley's sister Jasmine Steward said.

    Jasmine Steward could not reach Kelley after the call and  their grandmother called 911 around 8:30 p.m. to report the disappearance and the alarming phone call, according to a timeline provided by Dallas police.

    According to the police timeline, a 911 supervisor unsuccessfully attempted to locate Kelley’s cell phone electronically that night.

    "They basically told us that because she didn't say that she was being hit, she didn't say stop hitting me, but she was saying, 'Get off of me,' that they couldn't do anything," said LaShaun Steward, Kelley's sister. "That it wasn't evidence that she was in any danger."

    On March 8, Steward called 911 and Kelley’s boyfriend contacted a missing persons detective, the timeline said.

    It was 2:38 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, when the case was officially assigned to a missing persons detective and relatives finally spoke to detectives in person at 4 p.m.

    Jasmine Steward said police responded too slowly.

    “What if it was one of your family members and what if you all got that call. I’m pretty sure you all would have been on it,” Jasmine Steward said.

    A witness saw Kelley alive days after she was first reported missing, according to the timeline.

    Rev. Ronald Wright, leader of an organization called Justice Seekers Texas, and Kelley’s relatives want a new state law called “Kelley Alert” to require police response in such cases.

    “All they had to do was sent a patrolman in that area and that may have prevented the death,” Wright said. “I can’t say that it would have but it may have prevented the death.”

    “When you report there’s a disturbance with noise in the background, that should give you an immediate response to go out and see what’s going on,” Wright said.

    Dallas officials have promised improvements in 911 procedures after past mishandling was linked to tragedies.

    “They didn’t solve the problem,” Wright said.

    A week after the initial phone call to 911, officers found Kelley's body.

    “It’s a little too late now,” Jasmine Steward said.

    On March 27, Sgt. Warren Mitchell with Dallas police said an administrative investigation has been launched related to that March 7 phone call to 911.

    No one has yet been arrested in connection to Kelley's death.

    The department has released a timeline dating back to March 7.The timeline detailed police activity in the case from Sunday, March 9 through Friday, March 14, when Kelley’s body was found.

    Friday March 7, 2014:

    • 4:30PM (approximate) - Complainant was last seen by grandmother when she left the location and reported to be going to her best friend’s wake.
    • 6:05PM (approximate) - Complainant’s sister received an unintentional phone call from complainant and could hear a disturbance with an unknown male in the background.
    • 6:30PM- Complainant’s sister received a text from the complainant’s phone stating that she would call. This was the last contact the family had from the complainant.
    • 8:38PM – Complainant’s grandmother called 911.
    • 8:43 PM – 911 call taker notifies a police sergeant about the circumstances of the call.
    • 8:46PM – 911 call taker calls the grandmother back to obtain the complainant’s phone number to give it to the cell phone service provider to determine complainant’s location.
    • 8:49PM – 911 call taker forward’s the complainant’s phone number to the sergeant.
    • 8:51PM – The sergeant calls the cell phone provider and requests a phone location.
    • 8:55PM – The cell phone representative calls back to report no location data available. The sergeant faxes a form to the cell phone provider requesting to continue to search for phone location data.

    Saturday March 8, 2014:

    • 1:00PM- Complainant’s sister called 911 and the responding officers completed a Want to Locate Report.
    • 10:15PM- Complainant’s boyfriend contacted a detective in Missing Persons regarding the case and provided his contact information.


    Sunday March 9, 2014:

    • 2:30PM- Case #55425B, Want to Locate, was assigned to a detective in Youth Operations/Missing Persons Unit.
    • 4:00PM (approximate)- Complainant’s family came to Youth Operations and spoke with detectives expressing concern for complainant as her phone was turned off and no one had heard from her.
    • 5:00PM- An endangered person bulletin and a Region1 teletype were created and sent to patrol via mobile computer. Detectives received a call log from complainant’s cell phone that revealed no new information regarding the location of complainant’s phone as of Friday 3/7/14, which was before she was last seen.
    • 6:50PM- Detectives interviewed complainant’s boyfriend. No new information was developed.
    • 7:00PM- Detectives called the medical examiner’s office and local area hospitals looking for complainant. No new information was developed.


    Monday March 10, 2014:

    • 12:10PM- A detective went to complainant’s neighborhood, met with the grandmother and with the help of patrol officers, canvassed the area looking for possible leads to complainant’s whereabouts. No new leads were developed.
    • 1:30PM- The DART Police Department was contacted to check the area around where the complainant was last seen to see if complainant boarded a bus. No new information was developed.
    • 2:00PM- The funeral home was contacted to obtain a copy of the sign-in book for complainant friend’s wake.
    • 2:06PM- A press release was issued via social media asking for the assistance of the public.
    • 8:00PM- The medical examiner’s office and local area hospitals were contacted. No new information was developed.


    Tuesday March 11, 2014:

    • 3:04PM-A press conference was held asking for any information regarding the complainant.
    • 5:15PM- Complainant’s family was interviewed and no new information was developed.
    • 6:00PM-Complainant’s friend was interviewed and no new information was developed.
    • 8:30PM- The Richardson and Plano Fire and Police Departments were contacted and no new information was developed.
    • 9:00PM- The medical examiner’s office and local area hospitals were contacted and no new information was developed.

    Wednesday March 12, 2014:

    • 3:00PM- A subpoena was obtained for complainant’s cell phone log.
    • 4:30PM- Several tips from citizens were received stating the complainant was seen in the area of Market Center Drive and Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas. Detectives and patrol units thoroughly canvassed businesses, hotels and restaurants in the area for leads to complainant’s whereabouts. A witness was developed and she stated that at an unknown time in the morning on 3/11/14 she observed the complainant in her business.
    • 7:30PM- The Greyhound bus terminal in downtown Dallas was canvassed, and no new information was developed.
    • 8:45PM- The medical examiner’s office and local area hospitals were contacted and no new information was developed.
    • 10:47PM- An anonymous call was received stating that the complainant was seen between 5:30PM and 6:00PM on 3/7/14 at the Stop and Save store on the corner of Sunnyvale Road and Overton Road.


    Thursday March 13, 2014:

    • 3:45PM- An anonymous call was received stating that at around 6:30PM on 3/7/14 complainant was seen at the Stop and Save located at the corner of Sunnyvale Road and Overton Road.
    • 9:00PM- Detectives tried to obtain video footage from the Stop and Save located at 3325 Sunnyvale, but were unsuccessful.
    • 9:00PM- The medical examiner’s office and local area hospitals were contacted and no new information was developed.


    Friday March 14, 2014:

    • 10:30AM- South Central Patrol notified Youth Operations/Missing Persons that a body had been located at 1215 Presidio Ave. Detectives went to the location. The deceased matched the description of the complainant.


    The Department has initiated an Administrative Investigation of the March 7, 2014, 911 call relating to the complainant’s disappearance. The homicide investigation is ongoing. The Police Department is utilizing every available resource to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. Anyone having any information related to this case should contact the Dallas Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 214-671-3632 or submit your information via iWatch.

     

     

    NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.