The father of a missing Detroit toddler has been charged with her murder after prosecutors called his claim that she was abducted by carjackers “totally inconsistent with the facts.”
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that D’Andre Lane is charged with felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the Dec. 2011 disappearance of two-year-old Bianca Jones. If convicted of murder, he could face life in prison without parole.
Lane told police on December 2 that two men forced him from his car at gunpoint and drove off with Bianca in the backseat. The car was located 40 minutes later, but Bianca was gone. Despite extensive searches, her body has never been found.
Appearing on HLN’s Nancy Grace in December, Lane and his attorney refused to provide a description of the alleged carjackers, but he insisted he was cooperating fully with police. However, police said he had failed a polygraph test. Lane’s attorney, Terry Johnson, claimed the test was improperly administered.
“I can’t even think straight at the time. You know this - I’ve never had anything like this happen to me…This whole situation is a tragedy and I feel like I’m being pushed around and being put in front of the media as the bad guy and I’m not,” Lane told Grace on December 6.
A week after that interview, police asked Worthy’s office for a criminal warrant. At a press conference Wednesday, Worthy said an extensive review of the evidence had been completed and prosecutors are confident they can prove the charges against Lane beyond a reasonable doubt.
Worthy told reporters that the investigation revealed Bianca was subjected to child abuse on the day of her disappearance. She would not discuss the details of the abuse, but she said authorities believe it contributed to Bianca’s death.
Prior to the announcement of charges, Bianca’s mother, Banika Jones, told WDIV Wednesday that she still believes her daughter is alive.
“I have to believe that Bianca is alive until I have something that shows me different,” she said.
More on this story: Nancy Grace interviews Baby Bianca's mother
In an exclusive interview with Nancy Grace Wednesday, Bianca’s aunt, Kelly Jones said the girl’s mother “doesn’t want to believe that someone she’s had a relationship with would hurt her child…She does not want to have that much of a burden on her heart and her mind.”
Lane is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Thursday. He was arrested earlier this week for failing to attend anger management classes in connection with an unrelated protective order case.
Responding to the announcement Wednesday afternoon, Lane’s attorney, Terry Johnson, told HLN, “I am surprised. I look forward to getting my discovery from the prosecution to see exactly how they arrived at these charges. Based upon what I know…there’s been no child abuse nor any felony murder. Just because people don’t believe Mr. Lane’s version of the events of December 2, that does not arise to the magnitude of the charges that have been brought forth today.”