A man and a teenager are facing homicide charges after the body of 5-year-old Prince McCree was discovered in a dumpster in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. David E. Pietura, 27, and Erik J. Mendoza, 15, have been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, according to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). The incident occurred on October 25 in the basement of a home where McCree’s mother was sleeping. Pietura allegedly watched as Mendoza choked and beat the child. Both Pietura and Mendoza lived in the same residence as Prince and his family.
According to criminal complaints, Pietura disclosed during an interview that Mendoza used a golf club to strike McCree multiple times. McCree’s blood was found on the basement carpet during the investigation. Pietura admitted that it was his idea to bind McCree’s body and dispose of it in a dumpster behind a bar. Mendoza allegedly used soap water and a rag to clean the blood off the basement floor. Pietura also mentioned that Mendoza had confided in him about other crimes, including stabbing multiple strangers with a butterfly knife.
Police officers conducted a search of the residence but were unable to locate McCree. Surveillance footage from a doorbell camera showed Mendoza and Pietura carrying a garbage bag to a dumpster, where McCree’s body was later found. The child had suffered multiple head and scalp injuries, with a green rag stuffed inside his mouth. Pietura was taken into custody, and Mendoza was arrested after waiving his Miranda rights and denying any involvement in harming McCree.
Mendoza has been charged with multiple counts, including physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing death, hiding a corpse, and first-degree recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, he could face up to two life sentences, plus 65 years in prison, and a fine of up to $100,000. Pietura faces charges of physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing death, and hiding a corpse. If convicted, he could face up to two life sentences, plus 12 years and six months in prison, as well as a fine of $25,000.
The tragic loss of Prince McCree has left his family devastated. The young boy was described as a happy child who loved his siblings and had recently started kindergarten. The family is now preparing to lay him to rest.