RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina father pleaded guilty Friday to the 2014 murder of his 2-year-old son, WTVD reports.
Steven Daniel Blue, 34, had faced a first-degree murder charge in the death of his son Tristan Blue but eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder due to a plea deal.
His sentence calls for 31 to 42 years in prison.
Police began investigating on Christmas Eve when the boy’s mother called 911 to report him missing.
Blue told investigators he last saw the boy at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, but police were not contacted by 27-year-old Briana Dangerfield until 1:15 p.m.
Investigators initially said they believed the child may have wandered outside, so they issued an Amber Alert and began an extensive search of the neighborhood, according to WTVD.
The boy’s remains were later found in the water at Falls Lake State Recreation Area in North Carolina.
Blue told investigators that the boy was “unresponsive” when he was taken out of the family’s southwest Raleigh apartment. The father told police he dumped the body at Falls Lake.
Blue pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, secretly disposing of a child that died from unusual caused, conspiring to dispose of a child’s body and felony obstruction of justice, WNCN reports.
Dangerfield, who will not admit to any knowledge of the murder, is charged with attempting to conceal the murder, child abuse, destroying evidence, and accessory after the fact of murder.