Evan Brewer’s family fights for answers after judge seals records

Evan Brewer (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The family of Evan Brewer tells KSN they’re disappointed with the lack of transparency in the toddler’s death investigation.

“We just have very little faith at this point that justice can be served in the criminal courts given the frequent and repeated refusal to cooperate with us,” said Shayla Johnston, the attorney representing Evan’s dad Carlo Brewer.

KSN requested records from the Department for Children and Families outlining the contact the agency had with Evan Brewer. The request was denied. Along with the denial, KSN received a notification that a judge in Sedgwick County had sealed the state child protection records of Evan.

According to the Oct. 14 order, the judge listed the following four reasons for sealing the records:

  • The law opening the records does not currently apply to this matter because no evidence has been presented that establishes the death of Evan Brewer was the result of child abuse or neglect.”
  • The evidence presented by the City indicates that no cause of death for the child has yet been established by the Sedgwick County Medical Examiner.
  • The court finds that should it be established in the future that the death Evan Brewer did result form child abuse or neglect, the City’s motion should be sustained and the reports or records of DCF pertaining to Evan Brewer shall not be released and shall be closed under the law.
  • The court finds from the evidence presented by the city the release of such records is not in the public interest, would interfere with prospective law enforcement action, criminal investigation and/or prosecution, and would reveal the identity of confidential source or sources.

Johnston said her clients were not made aware of the sealed records until speaking with the media.

“We have never seen those records and furthermore we were never invited to any hearing that apparently occurred sometime in October between the city and the county to seal all records,” Johnston said.

Other court records released to KSN show Carlo Brewer, Evan’s dad, was given custody of the toddler in the summer of 2017. The records show Brewer fought for months to see Evan after he went missing. It also states law enforcement made repeated attempts to serve a protection from abuse order against Evan’s mom Miranda Miller. Johnston said the sealed records detail what Brewer went through to get Evan and the danger he was was in while in the custody of Miller.

“We continue to be disappointed by the governmental entities that have asserted their ability to protect Evan and find justice for him. This response to KORA requests and this refusal to speak with us is further evidence that our faith in the justice system is tarnished.”

The City of Wichita and Wichita police told KSN on Thursday the investigation into Evan’s death is ongoing. District Attorney Marc Bennett echoed what the city said. He released the following statement:

“Investigators with the Wichita Police Department continue to actively investigate the case. Throughout, I have received updates from investigators as to the status of the investigation and will continue to do so.  When the investigation is complete, the investigators will bring the case to the Office of the District Attorney for formal charging consideration.”

Evan’s body was found in early September encased in a concrete slab inside Miller and her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine’s, home.