SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– When 19-month-old Darby Hodges was found dead in Kalispell, Montana, his Grandmother Cheryl says investigators didn’t know what to make of it. It wasn’t too much later, she says his mom Julia Cummings, his stepdad Codey Cummings and his half-sister Kiera moved to Republic Missouri. Kiera would die three months after her brother, leaving Republic PD just as unsure as Montana’s investigators. Leaving Cheryl without a lot of hope.
“I know they were abused,” she says. “I’ve tried for years to get justice for them.”
That was back in 2010.
5 years later, in 2015, KOLR10 spoke to Lt. Mark Wilcox with Republic PD. At the time, he was having a little trouble tracking down Julia and Codey, keeping his investigation at a standstill.
“They were the last two in the apartment prior to the death of my victim,” he said back then. “You have to have enough evidence to bring probable cause forward. At this point in the investigation, without any cooperation from Julia and Codey, we don’t have that.”
Since then, Republic police have only been able to contact the Cummings occasionally that is until 2019 when they’d turn up in Guymon, Oklahoma.
Probable cause statements say the two were arrested on Monday selling alcohol in a Cigarette Outlet Parking Lot. Authorities found moonshine and loaded firearms in the car.
Since the arrest Republic PD has worked closely with the arresting agency in Oklahoma hoping to gather new information that could lead to a closed case.
They weren’t so lucky.
Cheryl blames Missouri’s investigators.
“Yeah,” she sighed. “That’s what I would expect of them. They are like keystone cops. Everything they do makes it worse. I don’t expect much from them.”