Video, other evidence raises doubts about Tampa boy's death

Tampa police are piecing together the mystery surrounding the death of a 4-year-old boy. 
 
Investigators released new surveillance footage Monday night that shows a dark green, possibly black, Ford Expedition fleeing south on Florida Avenue.
 
On Tuesday, a second surveillance video "does not provide 100% certainty of how the young boy ended up in the roadway," according to a police statement.
 
Based on physical evidence, witness statements and the surveillance videos, investigators say "it appears" the child was the victim of a hit-and-run or a traffic crash in which the driver did not realize the boy had been struck.

Police believe the vehicle in the surveillance videos is the same one that struck Marterrance Albury about 9:45 p.m. Sunday just north of 109th Avenue.
 
The videos bring into question whether the boy had rolled from the SUV before being run over as initially described by a 911 caller or whether the child wandered into the street and was struck. 
 
Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital.
 
"I cried and cried and I cried until I had bags under my eyes," said Terrance Albury, the boy's father. "I can't cry no more."
 
Albury just got out of prison a few weeks ago. He had been hoping to get to know the boy behind that smile a bit better. 
 
"I'm kind of speechless right now," he said. 
 
The boy's aunt, Doynisha Warfield, said she last visited her nephew two weeks ago.
 
"He was smiling, walking, playing. He was a child," Warfield said.
 
Relatives describe the toddler as a good kid who was giving and loved candy. His grandmother, Rosemary Williams, called him "Mott Mott." 
 
"How could you take an innocent baby and leave him on the side of the road to die? What kind of person is that?" Williams asked as she stroked a heart-shaped memorial on her arm.
 
The tattoo is in memory of her daughter who died of cancer and her son who was murdered. She wasn't expecting to have to add another letter.
 
"This is a hard pill to swallow," Williams said.
 
Williams last saw her grandson on Sunday just hours before police discovered him in the middle of the street. According to police, the child's mother, Johntea Williams, 36, had left the toddler in the care of his 17-year-old brother so she could go out with a girlfriend. 
 
According to the boy's grandmother, the teen had been playing video games and didn't realize his brother had escaped their apartment on Brittany Lane. Detectives said the teen walked up to an officer at the crime scene nearly 30 minutes after the incident saying he was unable to find his brother.
 
According to TPD, Johntea Williams arrived home at 4 a.m. and was hospitalized under the state’s Baker Act upon learning about her son’s death. She remains in the hospital and has yet to be formally interviewed by police.
 
The boy's older brother was interviewed on Monday and released. According to Williams, he is "not talking, not responding, just crying." 
 
"He feels like it's his fault and it's not," she said. 
 
The boy's family is pleading with the driver to come forward.
 
"What would you want that person to do if this was your child? Would you want them to turn themselves in, or would you want them to sit back and think they got away with it?" Warfield asked.
 
"Whoever did it, I hope they are man enough to go in there and do what is right – turn themselves in, whatever the case may be.  I ain't mad at nobody. It happened. It happened," Albury said.
 
Families members said after the boy's autopsy is complete, his body will be taken to Ray Williams Funeral Home in Tampa. They say funeral arrangements are pending.
 
Police continue to search for the Ford Expedition.  If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 800-873-TIPS or the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130.
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