Body Found In Duffel Bag Could Be Missing 4-Year-Old Boy, Police Say

The mother of 4-year-old Damari Carter was charged with murder in his death, but his body had not been found.

The body of a young child was found decomposing inside a duffel bag in a Philadelphia alleyway on Monday, and police say it might be a local boy who was reported missing last year.

In an email to HuffPost on Tuesday, a Philadelphia police spokesperson said a sanitation worker found the duffel bag on Monday morning. Investigators described the remains as in a “state of decomposition.”

The body is believed to be a child between the age of 4 and 7, but investigators were unable to determine the sex, according to CBS Philadelphia. Police told HuffPost the body was taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine the child’s identity, as well as the cause and manner of death.

Police told CBS Philadelphia that they are trying to determine whether the remains belonged to 4-year-old Damari Carter, who was reported missing in December by family members.

Damari Carter via AIDBIPOC.ORG
Damari Carter via AIDBIPOC.ORG

Damari’s aunt told ABC affiliate WPVI that she last saw the boy on his birthday in November.

Police told HuffPost that Carter’s mother, 28-year-old Dominique Bailey, told family members that her son had been struck and killed by a car. But an investigator could not find evidence to support the mother’s claim, and upon questioning, she allegedly provided information to officers about her involvement in her child’s death.

Arrest records cited by the Philadelphia Inquirer alleged that Bailey and her boyfriend, 30-year-old Kevin Spencer, had fatally beaten Carter.

Both were arrested earlier this year and charged with murder in connection to the 4-year-old’s death, despite the body never being found, according to police.

Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Ernest Ransom told People in January that a neighbor living beneath the family’s apartment “heard Damari screaming” on the day investigators believe he was killed.

“What happened to him was senseless. I’m heartbroken,” Damari’s aunt told WPVI in January. “We still haven’t had peace. We don’t know where he is and it’s all because of my sister.”

Damari’s father, Darryle Carter, told NBC affiliate WCAU in January that he and Bailey were together for six years before they split up and she moved to West Philadelphia in 2022 with their child.

Carter told the outlet he never met Spencer, and was shocked there was another person involved in his son’s death.

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