Mother of murdered York toddler responds to online criticism

York

A York man is behind bars for allegations that he strangled his friend’s 2-year-old little boy. Despite his arrest, the boy’s grieving mother is taking heat online.

Dante Mullinix was taken off life support on Sep. 15 — nine days after police said he was strangled by 39-year-old Tyree Bowie.

Dante’s mother, Leah Mullinix, was hospitalized for migraines at the time of her son’s death. She said she doesn’t understand why so many people are turning against her. 

Dante was a ray of light. He was mostly nonverbal, but he never had a problem expressing himself. 

“Once we moved up to York he got out of his shell. He started dancing. There would be people going down the road blasting music and you would see a little boy on the side of the road dancing and throwing his fist up,” Mullinix said. 

Everything was fine for the first few hours Bowie was watching Dante, but things eventually turned sinister. 

 “He face-timed me again — after 10 — flipping out, ‘he’s not breathing. He’s not breathing. He’s not breathing.’ I’m just like, he needs to come to the hospital. He needs medical attention, bring him to the hospital, something,” Mullinix said. 

There was nothing more that could be done. Mullinix said Bowie fled from the hospital, but police found him. On Thursday, he was charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. 

She said she was as shocked as anyone, until police told her about Bowie’s past. 

“Nobody who really knew Tyree knew his background. Like there are people that knew him for years and years and they did not know the horrible stuff that he has done and that’s on his record,” Mullinix said. 

Bowie will have his day in court, but Mullinix said she’s already been found guilty in the court of public opinion. A Facebook page with over 1,000 likes called “Justice for Dante” was created in the days leading up to his death. 

“Instead of looking for justice for my son, it’s just bashing me. What’s the point in that, and then selling pictures of my son on a shirt without permission.,” Mullinix said. 

She said since the page launched, she has received several death threats. She has one of her own for her son’s alleged killer. 

“Tyree, I hope you burn in hell,” Mullinix said. 

Dante’s funeral will be held at Gladfelter Funeral Home on Monday. 

Mullinix said her son was able to save four people through organ donation. 

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