A crying Brooklyn toddler steered police to the body of her murdered mother — and her father was arrested for the killing, sources told the Daily News.
Tonie Wells, 22, was found dead Wednesday at the bottom of the basement stairs inside the three-story Crown Heights brownstone about 10 a.m. after police received a 911 call, cops said.
Police sources say her husband of just nine months, Barry Wells, shoved her down the stairs before fleeing the home — leaving their daughter with the dead body.
“It was him,” the dead woman’s sister told the Daily News. “It wasn’t an accident. It was definitely him.”
It was unclear how long Tonie Wells’ body was inside the house alone with the 2-year-old girl, whose cries led a neighbor to call the cops.
NYPD brass are looking into the possibility that officers did not check on Wells after being alerted to the child’s cries.
“We are actively investigating the steps that were taken during the wellness check,” said a high-ranking NYPD source. “We want to know all the steps they made in this incident.”
When cops did go inside the home on Sterling Place near Albany Ave. they found bruises on the dead woman’s neck.
Outside the home, a distraught woman arrived about 1 p.m. Wednesday and told cops she was the toddler’s aunt. A young man holding a little girl opened the front door of the brownstone for her.
The relative ran up the steps as the homicide investigation continued inside the house.
“Give her to me please, give her to me please,” the woman said. “That’s my niece.”
Barry Wells’ Facebook page included a post advising other men to treat the mothers of their kids with respect.
“Especially if you have a daughter,” he wrote in October 2016. “She gonna grow up believing it’s okay to be treated that way!”
A friend of the victim added a response to his post Wednesday after Tonie Wells was found dead.
“Ur going to hell, trust that,” the woman wrote.
Wells was recently pregnant, but suffered a miscarriage after a domestic quarrel, a cousin told the Daily News. A police source said Wells was eight months pregnant when she lost her baby last month.
Neighbors heard the victim’s daughter crying Wednesday morning and realized they hadn’t seen the young mom in some time before calling the cops.
Beverly Miller said she was about to walk her dog when she heard the news. She didn’t recall witnessing any kind of issues between the newlyweds.
“They seemed like a pleasant family,” she said. “They would do the laundry together.”
A March 29 video on Wells’ Facebook page showed her husband delivering a bag of takeout food that actually held an engagement ring.
The two were married less than two weeks later.
“It’s just sad,” said Trevor Lyons, who has lived nearby for over 30 years. “It’s a shame this time of the year. I feel sorry for the baby.”
With DALE W. EISINGER, Elizabeth Keogh
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