(KMOV) – A patrol officer has been put on administrative duty while an internal investigation is conducted to determine whether he jeopardized a case that led to murder charges being filed against the mother of an 18-month-old son found in a trash bin in south St. Louis in May, 2011.
The news comes three days after murder charges were dropped against 30-year-old Melissa Jackson, who was scheduled to go on trial Monday for first-degree murder and felony abuse of a child. The charges were filed after the body of her son, Marquell Jackson, was discovered in a dumpster at an apartment complex on S. Jefferson Ave.
Authorities said the toddler’s death was caused by someone striking or strangling him.
According to Melissa Jackson’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, a police deposition revealed one of her ex-boyfriend’s admitted to killing the boy and dumping his body. But the attorney said police never pursued charges against the man because his statement was never shared with homicide detectives.
Susan Ryan, spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, would not explain why the charges were dropped. St. Louis City police Spokeswoman Schron Jackson said an officer might have compromised the case by not sharing information with homicide detectives.
Melissa Jackson maintained her innocence since the child’s death and pleded not guilty to the charges. She spent about 10 months in jail before being released on bail.
“The department was disappointed to learn that an officer had information critical to the investigation and did not share it with homicide detectives,” she said.
Jackson said an internal affairs investigation is being launched in the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.