Malik Drummond’s dad arrested

02 Dec


Has Malik’s body been found? Has a witness come forward? What led to an arrest a year after Malik disappeared?


The father of a little boy who has been missing for a year has been charged with murder.

Malik Drummond has been missing since November of 2014.

Jeffery Leroy Clifton was arrested late Tuesday night and is charged with capitol murder and abuse of a corpse.


The father of Malik Drummond was arrested Tuesday night for the death of the missing Searcy toddler.

Police say there have been several leads and evidence was developed regarding the disappearance of Malik.

Just before midnight Tuesday, Jeffery Leroy Clifton, 43, of Searcy was arrested and charged with capital murder and abuse of a corpse.

Very little information is available so far but Arkansas has the Sunshine law so I’m hoping we’ll be able to learn more soon. I’ll keep checking and will update as more information becomes available.

Rest In Peace Malik ❤

malik reward


Posted by on December 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


65 responses to “Malik Drummond’s dad arrested

  1. barbarag816

    December 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Cute little guy…what a shame. But at least those who love him did not have to wait for an answer coming up to 4 years and counting.

    If his dad is charged with abuse of a corpse, then I would think that they found some remains.

    • mountain mama

      December 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      He is adorable. IIRC the last search was unsuccessful but maybe they had a recent tip that led to his remains. It’s also possible they have witness testimony to the abuse of his corpse. Whatever it is I want to know. I want to know if they have more evidence than MSP has in Ayla’s case.

  2. Karen

    December 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I wonder if the girlfriend/stepmom spoke up? She was at the house giving the twin sister a bath(?)when Malik dissapeared.
    I hope this child has been found.

    • msperidot19

      December 2, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      I too have been wondering. And as we all are, hoping could something helpful happen for Ayla too? I personally think Grace might have the right idea. Or something where the three have enough on each other to keep silent. I really wish a deal would be made if Ayla could be brought home and justice could be served.

      snipped: “Over the last year plus, we’ve been investigating this, and through the course of the investigation there have been some leads that have come up and some of those leads have given us the evidence that we needed in order to charge Jeff,” Searcy Police Sgt. Steve Hernandez said.

      another snip: “Once we are able to reveal more of the investigation, there will probably be more understanding for these charges,” Hernandez said. “There is a possibility we could be looking at charges on maybe somebody else or other people. There’s a possibility that there could be more charges on Jeff.”

  3. Karen

    December 2, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    In a November 2010 police report, a woman with whom Clifton had a child in 2007, reported the two got into an argument inside a car. She told police Clifton “grabbed her by the throat and began choking” her as their 3-year-old son sat on his lap. The woman was advised to file charges against Clifton.

  4. mountain mama

    December 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    On 11/10 the FBI put out a reward for information. Wonder if someone came forward in hopes of collecting the reward money?

    “Through the investigation we’ve developed some information telling us that there is somebody that knows something,” Searcy police Sgt. Steve Hernandez said.

    The FBI has announced a new $20,000 reward for information that leads to a conclusion to the case.

    Searcy police believe somebody out there knows more about that night. They hope the reward encourages that person to come forward.

    “That’s why that kind of money is out there to try and find some closure for Malik and Malik’s family,” Sgt Hernandez said.

  5. msperidot19

    December 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you mama for the information. And Karen too for always sharing links.

  6. msperidot19

    December 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    RIP Malik Drummond. Just a tiny little boy ❤

  7. Anon

    December 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    The details in this story make me think of what kind of thing might have happened to Ayla.

  8. Anon

    December 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Sorry forgot the lin

    • msperidot19

      December 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Totally UNREAL!  All the details are stunning.  You are given back a child you threw off a balcony?

      How many adults let all that happen around them and in there presence?  Was there a legal judge that gave this little human being back to this messed up freak?

      The laughing ‘story’ – does not minimize any adult invoved. The laughing story is crap, and they all know it. If life were fair everyone involved in the house would do time. The judge and social workers all need to do time.

      • Karen

        December 2, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        Wow…that poor little girl. No, she should never been giving the child back.
        This is so sad.

      • Anonymous

        December 3, 2015 at 6:34 pm

        The powers that be gave the child back to the bio-“mother” after Jones through her child off the balcony into the snow..
        Drugs and immoral parents, onlookers, courts and social services. Some poor babies should never have been born. They have no chance in the hell which surrounds them.
        No investigation by DHHS after Ayla’s broken arm? Did anyone from the agency ever visit that DiPietro house to investigate the premises? Interview the occupants? Determine how Daddy Justin was caring for Ayla?
        Oh, I forgot. Justin was the “father”.. He had a right to Ayla. No need to investigate

  9. mountain mama

    December 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Searcy police believe human remains found in Jackson County are that of Malik Drummond. The remains were located in a rural area of Jackson County, which is just northeast of Searcy.

    • Karen

      December 2, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      When I read news stories like this one, so many times people say they are shocked that someone they know did something terrible. Even when you read that he scared a girlfriend, they are shocked he could do this.
      I wondered early on if this was the case with Heidi and Justin. I thought maybe she was just a really nice lady who was believing and repeating things told to her, because she just could not believe this kid did something to Ayla.
      But she should speak up now. She should have viewed the evidence, if offered. And set the record straight.

      • Anonymous

        December 2, 2015 at 11:13 pm

        If Heidi’s son is involved in any way with Ayla’s disappearance or in Justin’s probable drug activity, she has to defend Justin. Even to the point of suffering social and financial losses of her own.

        • Anon

          December 3, 2015 at 9:33 am

          If it were drug activity unrelated to Ayla, I don’t think it would cause cover-up of a death. I don’t think the cops would investigate it if it came up as retaliation if Derek came to them and told them whatever he knows. Heidi’s public actions make me think maybe Derek gave some bad advice to Justin while he was in the house that day or helped Justin in a way that would land him in serious legal trouble relating to Ayla’s death or its cover-up.

    • msperidot19

      December 2, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Not sure if I just missed this or if this is part of an update: Clifton appeared in court Wednesday morning. He is being held without bond at the White County Detention Center. His next court appearance is set for January 5, 2016 at 9 am.

      Also someone/they posted a picture of where Malik has been found.

      • mountain mama

        December 3, 2015 at 10:30 pm

        “Police say there have been several leads and evidence was developed regarding the November 2014 disappearance of two-year-old Malik, but they say the information leading to Clifton’s arrest did not come from the $20,000 reward being offered for information.”

  10. msperidot19

    December 2, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Today has been a terrible news day. The girl, 11-year-old Janiya Thomas found in the freezer missing for a year or two? (Oct news.) No one is sure how long she has been missing? Also the terrible events in San Bernardino. The terrible conformation of Malik indeed being deceased and apparently there is evidence that his father with a violent history is the one who took his life. And little Elliana Claiborne is now dead after a horrid short life.

    I guess I should appreciate that the person who harmed Malik (yet to be proven) has been arrested. It sounds like LE believe they found Malik.

    I hope no one else will be hurt out in CA. What can we do? Appreciate the ones we love and cherish?

    • mountain mama

      December 3, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      How can people lie so easily?

      Clifton told The Daily Citizen newspaper earlier this year that his oldest son died in 2005 after he was hit by a car getting off a school bus, and that he’d been hoping for the best in the search for Malik. He said he was “still kind of numb” about Malik’s disappearance.

      “It’s tough around here, especially on the holidays. I hope he’s found safe and that wherever he is or whoever has him makes sure (Malik) is taken care of first and foremost. Then I want him back, with his sister, with his family. Either this is going to end good or bad or never end,” he told the newspaper.

  11. Karen

    December 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I wonder if Aylas story is anything like this?

    • mountain mama

      December 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      “They can’t come at you with nothin’,” Clifton was reported as saying.” The only person that [would] know is me. All you got to remember is to keep saying you don’t know…I don’t care what they say whatever they is saying, they don’t have anything… I don’t care what they say, they don’t have [expletive]. You know this. So I don’t care what they tell you they say it is.”


  12. Anon

    December 3, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Wow, Karen, I wonder too. From your link: “She told Clifton they should take him to the hospital, but said the father refused, being too scared because of the extensive bruising on the child’s body.

    Police were then told Clifton had been Malik and his twin sister on several occasions.

    The couple put the child in the bathtub and that’s when they noticed his legs were cold and his belly was swelling.

    The child then started making a choking sound.

    Marcotte said she tried to perform CPR, but then Clifton picked up the boy, put him in a purple robe and then went outside.

    When he came back, he said it was too late.

    Hysterical, Marcotte was told to go over to a neighbor’s house and say the couple had been in a fight.

    The two met later that day and tried to come up with a plan, one of which included framing the boy’s biological mother.

    That’s when they agreed to tell police he had simply walked out the front door and disappeared.”

  13. msperidot19

    December 4, 2015 at 12:20 am

    well ! those poor children at his mercy! so basically he killed his son over what, eating issues?

    and one of the things they considered was how to blame the mom. But they went with the child wondered away when they didn’t notice.

  14. Karen

    December 4, 2015 at 9:09 am
    They have a witness that speaks of bruises on Malik. Ayla had bruises and a broken arm.
    If you act like you know nothing, the child just dissapeared, really seems to work. 🙁
    Ayla needs to be found.

    • mountain mama

      December 4, 2015 at 9:31 am

      So the girlfriend finally told them the truth and the dad led them to Malik’s remains after his arrest.

      Ayla needs someone to tell the truth for her too. 4 Years 😦

      • Karen

        December 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm

        If they were smart, one of them would make a deal. You never know when something might slip and be told that leads to the truth.
        I think several people might know at least something.

      • Anonymous

        December 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Well, Justin’s girlfriend didn’t tell the truth, according to LE. We cannot accord Courtney any praise. OF course, she could speak, now since she is no longer with her stud, Justin, that is, if she herself is not involved in hurting Ayla. What would make her tell the truth?

  15. msperidot19

    December 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Justin Dipietro
    Phoebe Dipietro
    Elisha Dipietro
    Courtney Roberts
    Derek Tudelas

    Where is Ayla Bell Reynolds? Where is Ayla?

    Phoebe, what was the real reason you waited a day to take Ayla for a x-ray? How much did you pay attention to Ayla? How much did you worry Elisha’s little one feel more loved than Ayla? Elisha, did you look out for Ayla? Or did you say, hey that kid is not my responsibility? Courtney, what parenting advice did you share with Justin? Did you try to be an example of a loving parent? Did you encourage Justin to feel like a victim? Or did you point out Ayla is a blessing? We know Derek does not feel Ayla was or is a blessing! He sounded personally resentful that Ayla was born!

    Ultimately Justin’s job as a dad was to keep Ayla safe and well ! Justin was the wall of safety or not for Ayla. Justin it is time to give your daughter back. Be a real dad and help Ayla be brought home. Ayla was and is a blessing ! She is a beautiful person and needs her dad to bring her home.

    Let’s face it, Ayla was not taken for loving her. She was resented by all these adults. As if she personally did them wrong. And now she is still being treated as if she does not matter. What needs to happen to get anyone of them to help the beautiful Ayla.

    • Anonymous

      December 4, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Phoebe, do you still want all of us to keep our eyes open for the little girl with the unusual blue eyes so that each of us can be a Good Samaritan and bring her home? Justin, do you still want one of us to just drop her off at a public building and you will offer immunity in case any of us took her in the first place?
      Elisha do you still “miss her and want her back”? Courtney, does your son remember Ayla? Lance, are you still keeping people from looking for her? Derek, are you still hopping to Justin’s summons?
      With these stone hearted people, Ayla has always been a “cold case”.

      • msperidot19

        December 5, 2015 at 5:53 am

        Anon these are excellent questions. I wish they could be asked by a reporter. I know better, but it would be great to have the answers on the record.

  16. Karen

    December 5, 2015 at 8:36 am

    • mountain mama

      December 5, 2015 at 9:34 am


      Jennifer Rosenbaum is charged with murder, aggravated assault, child cruelty in the second degree and two counts of child cruelty in the first degree.

      Her husband faces two counts of child cruelty.

  17. msperidot19

    December 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Comment on article:
    Kim Smith

    Osceola High School

    I am a family member. The one encouraging everyone not to judge or accuse until the investigation was complete. Now the truth is out and We are all devastated. Laila and her 4 year old sister had been in the care of the Rosenbaum’s for approx. 5 months. What we as a family have been told – she did not choke to death. #JUSTICEFORLAILA

    Like · Reply · Flag · 2 · 2 hrs

  18. msperidot19

    December 5, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    “Ms. Rosenbaum is surrounded by loved ones as she grieves this horrible tragedy,” he said. “She is in contact with the authorities and will continue to assist them in any and all manner possible.”

    This is snipped from the original article. I was wondering how did she – Jennifer explain the children’s bruises to friends and family. It didn’t make sense to me. Maybe she explained they were from visits from the bio mom? That doesn’t make a lot of sense either because someone should have intervened. I guess we had to wait till a child actually died to ask questions?

    • msperidot19

      December 5, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      I am sorry for the sarcasm in my comment.

      • Anonymous

        December 5, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        Msp… Sometimes frustration in us just boils over. Sarcasm, in your case, was a mild effort to overcome said feelings of helplessness at this ongoing cruelty to children.

  19. primarytchr

    December 6, 2015 at 7:30 am

    I just posted a lengthy response to “Have You Changed Your Mind” if anyone is interested. . . I didn’t know where to put it and I am just catching up on Ayla.

  20. Karen

    December 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I hope Justin knows he has not fooled LE or many other people. His time is coming. One day they will be able to prove he did something to Ayla.
    Just like they did with this man.

  21. msperidot19

    December 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm
    -So the mother felt the home was not safe, according to the grandmother, but DCFS told her she was calling them to much.
    -The defense attorney for the Rosenbaum’s say they are two very innocent people.
    -She also says those two little girls were in Foster Care for a reason.
    — Yes, so what? What does that have to do with what happened to the girls under the Rosenbaum’s care?
    -The attorney is arguing that there is no telling where they were abused.
    Really, well I have to say there will be no confusion about the fact Laila’s body weight was from their 5 months of care, and also that Laila’s pancreas was damaged while with Jennifer and her husband.

    So what will happen to the Rosenbaum’s? I cannot see them waling away from this crime. But will Laila get fair legal justice?

    I wonder if Jennifer is a regular or even a compulsive liar? The 911 call was about Laila choking and the bio-family was told Laila choked on a chicken bone. But she was actually a starving child and she died from blood loss from her pancreas being transected by a severe blow. They also did not have her broken bones treated. All the bruises both girls have.

    snipped: “According to arrest warrants Jennifer Rosenbaum struck Laila so hard in her abdomen that she sustained a transected pancreas. The affidavit reads, “the injury was stated by GBI personnel as being a major contributing factor to the child’s death.” The child is believed to have entered shock due to the blood loss resulting from that injury.”

    • msperidot19

      December 8, 2015 at 12:17 pm this site includes part of the 911 call concerning Laila Daniels.

      • mountain mama

        December 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        Monsters among us 😦 She looks evil.

        • msperidot19

          December 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

          The littlest among us who cannot speak up for themselves are at the mercy of those around them. And those making life decisions for them.

      • Karen

        December 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        So terrible! How often did someone (DHS) check on the foster home?
        Why do people want to be foster parents who treat children like this?
        It is very evil.

    • Anonymous

      December 8, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      The child, Laila, suffered a blow to the abdomen. I think this is what Ayla suffered from the hands or feet of one or more of her Waterville “caretakers”. Of course they would not call 911. Or take her to the ER. There would have been an investigation!

      • msperidot19

        December 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        Yes. I think the evidence shows Ayla was not even given a chance to be saved.

    • CG

      December 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      A broken rib is a pretty standard risk for CPR and a transected pancreas is a possible result of improperly performing Heimlich. But both happening? The canned excuse served right up – I hope I didn’t break her ribs, I’ve been pushing real hard, I don’t know how to do this- .makes this really suspicious. If someone is not dying/dead, you don’t do CPR. If you think they are dying/dead, are you really going to worry about whether you might have broken a rib? This doesn’t sound like a person worried about not knowing CPR. If you’re trying CPR and not sure you’re doing it correctly, and you think the patient is dying, you’re going to be asking for help. The focus is going to be on keeping the patient alive until trained rescuers arrive.

      • msperidot19

        December 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

        I only heard a part of the call from the above link.

        Caller: “She is breathing. I’m trying to do CPR. I’m hoping I didn’t break a rib. I’ve been pushing hard. I don’t know how to do this…

        I was taken aback by the snip of the 911 call. It was not what I was expecting to hear. She really covered her self (or tried to) in that call. Or that is the way it came off to me. I agree with CG about it sounding like a canned excuse and about the focus during the call. I wonder what the whole call sounds like.

        I personally did not remember that the Heimlich can cause a transected pancreas.

        They are still not giving out the official cause of death.

        I have never had to give CPR to anyone. But, I know enough not to give CPR to a breathing person. I was wondering if military people are taught to do CPR? Or foster parents are required to know child CPR?

        Hopefully the whole truth can be found out as much as possible.

        • CG

          December 8, 2015 at 9:20 pm

          Ms. P that was what I thought about CPR too and what I was taught when I learned CPR. But… to a layperson (of which I am one), there might not be a distinction between agonal gasping and breathing… and also I looked it up to make sure I was correct and what the medical sites say about CPR and breathing isn’t as clear cut as what I was taught.

        • mountain mama

          December 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm

          I do not believe she was choking on a chicken bone. She was in CYA mode throughout that call IMO. Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age but I don’t believe a word of it.

          Justice for Laila.

        • msperidot19

          December 8, 2015 at 10:14 pm

          Thank you for the further explanation CG. It all makes sense that the 911 operator had Jennifer preform CPR during the call. The cbs link I posted below now has the whole 911 call. Basically what you said is what happened during the 911 call. It was determined to give Laila CPR during the call due to the way she was breathing and her eyes were rolled up in her head and because of the color she was.

        • mountain mama

          December 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm

          Okay I’ve listened to the entire call now instead of just the beginning. I still don’t trust what she said in the beginning of the call.

        • CG

          December 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm

          I would think the dispatcher would be trained and would have an idea whether someone was actually doing CPR or doing it effectively and yet as I listen to her when she says she is doing it, she doesn’t sound like she’s undergoing any physical strain. CPR is hard work!

        • mountain mama

          December 9, 2015 at 12:12 am

          We’ve seen so many cases of murdered or missing children where no one is ever charged. Taking into account that Laila was also a foster child and all that would be involved in charging a foster parent of murder, I suspect they have very good reason for their charges.

        • msperidot19

          December 9, 2015 at 12:45 am

          mama and CG, something is wrong on that call.

          I have no personal experience with doing CPR on anyone. But what you said CG makes sense.. Also another question I have is when she was counting the compressions 1 to 30 she originally went so fast I was wondering if that was even possible? He slowed her down.

          I am sure that 911 call will be or has been thoroughly examined. Maybe it is a part of their decision to bring charges?

          I also was surprised at all the talking that could be heard by the other 911 operators. That seemed to interfere at times.

        • mountain mama

          December 9, 2015 at 8:03 am

          It was odd too how she left Laila alone for so long after she opened the door and waited for EMS to come in. It was like she forgot about Laila and the 911 dispatcher still on the phone.

        • msperidot19

          December 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

          mama, it seemed like a very long time if you are trying to keep someone alive. I didn’t understand that.

  22. msperidot19

    December 8, 2015 at 8:47 pm


    Henry County police would not give any details about their investigation, but people with knowledge of the situation spoke with CBS46 News.

    One of the Rosenbaums’ neighbors said Jennifer Rosenbaum came to her door in August asking her to check on Laila, saying the toddler fell down the stairs. However, according to the neighbor — a nurse who did not wish to be identified — the girl’s injuries did not appear to come from a fall. She also said Rosenbaum promised she would take the girl to the hospital, but she later learned Rosenbaum never did.

    The neighbor said she regrets not trusting her first thought. She advised, “No matter what anyone tells you, if you have a gut instinct, you need to report it. Don’t worry about being nosy. You need to go with your gut. I hate that, looking back.”

    She said the child became injured at least one other time in October with a broken leg.

    Kellie Hatcher, a friend of the child’s biological mother, said the little girl’s death came on the same day that authorities announced they were going to give the girl back to her mother.

    In a strange twist, Hatcher said Rosenbaum was a foster child herself who grew up in the same house as the girl’s biological mother. She said Rosenbaum independently learned Laila was being separated from her mother and arranged to become her new foster parent.

    Read more:


    I wonder if the Rosenbaums knew Laila was going back to her mother. How utterly sad.

    • msperidot19

      December 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      It is truly sick! A baby girl was physically tortured and died because a grown man wanted to use her little body …

      There are no words. Especially no words I can say on a blog.

      I am so sorry for what happened to her.

    • mountain mama

      December 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      I can’t bring myself to read it. Some days it’s just too much 😦


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