Man and Teen Face Homicide Charges After Boy, 5, Found Dead in Dumpster


A man and a teenager are facing homicide charges after the body of 5-year-old Prince McCree was found in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, dumpster.

David E. Pietura, 27, and Erik J. Mendoza, 15, were both charged with first-degree intentional homicide on Monday, according to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). There have been 159 homicides in the city during 2023, which is 32 fewer than last year at this date.

Criminal complaints seen by Newsweek described grisly details where Pietura allegedly watched on as Mendoza reportedly choked and beat McCree, referred to as PRM in the documents. It happened in the basement of a home on October 25 as the child’s mother was sleeping. Both Pietura and Mendoza lived in the same Uptown home as Prince and his family.

“During the interview, defendant Pietura disclosed that defendant Mendoza used a golf club to strike PRM multiple times,” the criminal complaint read. McCree’s blood was later found all over the basement carpet during the investigation.

Mendoza and Pietura allegedly bound McCree’s arms and legs with tape “so it would be easy to put him in” garbage bags. Detectives say that Pietura admitted it was his idea to bind McCree’s body and that both took the boy’s corpse to a dumpster behind a bar before they covered the bags containing the victim with other bags.

When the pair returned to the home, Mendoza allegedly used soap water and a rag to clean the blood off the basement floor.

During the interview, Pietura said that Mendoza confided to him about other crimes, specifically “going out at night and stabbing multiple strangers in the back or neck” with a butterfly knife.

“As defendant Pietura was being interviewed by detectives Marx and Miller, detective Marx noted a large amount of blood on defendant Pietura’s right leg,” the criminal complaint added. “Defendant Pietura was subsequently placed under arrest for obstruction.”

Newsweek has contacted the MPD for comment via email.

Pietura allegedly told detectives he “didn’t want any of this,” that he “loved that kid,” and that his first instinct was to cover for Mendoza. He then followed those comments with “he’s not alive,” referring to McCree.

During the police interview, Pietura said that Mendoza “has talked for some time about wanting to kill someone” and that the teen never liked the boy “and discussed wanting to kill PRM.”

Details of Police Investigation

McCree was first reported missing just after 6 p.m. on October 25, and his mother said the last time she saw him was inside the home at 9 a.m. She added that her son wanted to go into the basement to play video games.

Police officers carried out a search of the residence twice. They were unable to locate him and expanded their search, leading officers to contact more than 200 residences and businesses.

Officers later found surveillance video from a doorbell camera that showed Mendoza and Pietura as they walked between alleys at about 2 p.m. on October 25. The latter was carrying a garbage bag with both of his arms cradled under it.

The pair were then seen approaching a dumpster, which was the same location where McCree’s body was later recovered from.

Milwaukee police officers found McCree suffered multiple gashes to his head and scalp and that a green rag had been stuffed inside his mouth.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office responded and took custody of McCree’s body. Pietura was then taken into custody.

Police Interview Details

Police said Pietura waived his Miranda rights and then spoke to detectives about what happened.

Following examination of the footage, the recovery of McCree’s body, and Pietura’s statements, Mendoza was arrested. The teen allegedly waived his Miranda rights and agreed to make a statement to the police on October 26. He denied hurting McCree “in any way.”

Mendoza was also charged with one count of physical abuse of a child; one count of repeated acts causing death; one count of hiding a corpse; three counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety; and use of a dangerous weapon. If convicted, he could face up to two life sentences, plus 65 years in prison, and could be fined up to $100,000.

Pietura also faces one count of physical abuse of a child; one count of repeated acts of causing death; and one count of hiding a corpse. He could face up to two life sentences, plus 12 years and six months in prison, as well as a fine of $25,000 if convicted.

McCree Was Family’s ‘Little Angel’

A GoFundMe page created by McCree’s family member has raised more than $16,000, out of a $10,000 target, to assist the family with funeral and headstone costs, as well as offering his parents financial assistance.

“Prince Rashon Mccree was such a happy little boy who loved his brother and sister very much,” a statement on the page reads.

“He just started kindergarten this fall, and he also just lost his second baby tooth. Prince loved Transformers, Spiderman, Fortnite, Roblox, school, learning, and Baby Shark when he was younger,” the statement says.

“Our little angel was very loved by his father, mother, brother, sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and many other loved ones and friends.”

The statement adds: “Prince’s mother and father are both devastated and now have to lay their baby to rest, something no parent should ever have to do.”

Uncommon Knowledge

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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