Va. Police Allege Ruse in Death
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thirteen-year-old Alexis Glover was missing again, the third time in less than a month. Her mother called Prince William County sheriff's deputies and police, triggering an extensive search for the developmentally disabled girl.
Two days later, the child's body was found submerged in a shallow pool of water in a secluded creek bed. It was just where her mother had left her, police said yesterday.
Police said Alfreedia Gregg-Glover, 44, of the Manassas area, placed her daughter in the creek bed Jan. 7, shortly before reporting her missing. It was all part of an elaborate ruse to make it appear that Lexie had run away again, authorities said.
Glover positioned her daughter's locator bracelet -- a device that enables deputies to find endangered missing people -- near a Manassas library to make it appear that Lexie had removed it and run away, they said. Gregg-Glover then appealed through the media for help in finding her daughter.
About 300 law enforcement officers searched the surrounding woods and neighborhoods for two days. A Woodbridge man out for an afternoon walk discovered Lexie's body Friday -- eight miles from the search area.
It is not known whether Lexie was dead when she was dropped in the creek or whether she died in the frigid water, but police said they are investigating the case as a homicide. They are awaiting a medical examiner's report to explain how she died, with possibilities ranging from drowning to poisoning to accidental or even natural death.
Police Chief Charlie T. Deane said detectives are certain of one thing: Lexie could not have gotten into the creek on her own.
"We believe her mother placed her in the creek," Deane said.
Gregg-Glover was charged late Tuesday with neglect and filing a false police report but has not been charged with Lexie's death. She is being held without bond.
Law enforcement officials said they are also looking into allegations that Lexie was abused. A spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Social Services declined to comment, citing an ongoing police investigation. The Prince William County Department of Social Services did not respond to a message.
Authorities said they believed Gregg-Glover's initial story last week because they had to: Missing endangered children are a top priority. They mobilized immediately, with sheriff's deputies finding the discarded bracelet within 20 minutes. Hundreds of police officers, deputies and volunteers combed the area, using search dogs and helicopters to try to find the girl as darkness descended and temperatures dropped below freezing.
Gregg-Glover knew from experience how a search would operate, and her story sounded credible, police said. Lexie had run away previously, and when she did so in December, her bracelet was found tossed into a neighbor's pool, and she was found within minutes hiding nearby in a doghouse.