Police found a young mother dead a the bottom of a stairwell on Dec. 27 after neighbors reported the woman’s 2-year-old child screaming and crying in Brooklyn, New York.
Police only discovered the 22-year-old’s body after a second call to the location. Police suspect the woman’s husband, 29-year-old Barry Wells, is responsible, PIX 11 reported.
“It was him,” Tonie Wells’s sister said, referring to Barry, via the Daily News. “It wasn’t an accident. It was definitely him.”
Tonie had a miscarriage last month after a domestic disturbance, Tonie’s cousin told the Daily News. She was eight months pregnant.
Barry Wells was also charged in a domestic violence incident that occurred in July for choking Tonie after dragging her into a closet at her mother’s Manhattan home. He was arrested for the crime in September, according to PIX 11. The case is still pending but a temporary order of protection was issued. Police were called for another incident that happened between the couple in September but did not make an arrest, according to another Daily News report.
Two police were suspended over their response to the current incident. Someone called 911 at 8:40 AM when they heard Tonie and Barry arguing outside. The caller said she heard a woman yell “help me, he’s going to kill me,” according to CBS New York.
Police arrived for a wellness check but reportedly never exited their vehicle. They left the scene and said the call was unfounded in their report. The temperature was in the low 20 degrees. Both the Brooklyn borough president and the chief of police criticized the choices the officers reportedly made, according to CBS. Officials are also investigating if the officers received the correct information from 911.
A different set of officers arrived around 10 a.m. and found the body of Tony Wells, after a later call to 911, CBS reported.
Tonie posted a video on Facebook, nine months ago, showing the moment Barry proposed to her by handing her what looked like a bag of takeout food. Instead, she finds a ring inside.
Barry posted this in a Facebook status update, after quoting lines from a Tupac song praising women and mothers in another post:
“and if you have a child, never let your child see you blatantly disrespect their mother…. I personally live by this and my child’s mother can tell you herself, NO MATTER WHAT because they begin to think that’s the norm. ESPECIALLY if you have a daughter, she gonna grow up believing it’s okay to be treated that way!”
He posted the update on Oct. 21, 2016, months before he and Tonie were married.