Murder suspect has tumultuous background

17-year-old murder suspect Meechaiel Criner was raised in Texarkana where he lived with his mother Vivian Criner.

In 2001, Child Protective Services got involved after Meechaiel's sister called police. Officers found Meechaiel and his siblings alone at their home. There was no food available to them and the water and gas had been shut off.
               
Court documents said Vivian smoked marijuana in front of her children and drank frequently. Her children said their mother bought them one outfit per school year.

After the incident, Meechaiel's grandmother took custody of him and his siblings. Then, in 2009, Child Protective Services responded to a call that Meechaiel's grandmother, Mary Wadley, had physically abused and neglected him. When they arrived he had two black eyes, swollen shut.

Investigators reported that his grandmother hit him in the face with a belt and then refused to take him to get medical attention. Wadley was arrested for injury to a child.

Meechaiel then moved in with his aunt Ramere Koontz. She died in September 2015. At that point Meechaiel was put into Child Protective Services custody.
               
A newspaper article written about Meechaiel when he was in high school, said he was physically abused and locked in a bathroom during his time in foster care.

About two weeks ago, Meechaiel went missing from somewhere in Killeen. The Killeen Police Department confirms a report was filed with them. It's Child Protective Services policy to report missing children to police.
               
Although CPS won't confirm that they are the ones that filed the report, they said he was in their care at the time of the murder and was listed as a runaway until police brought him to the youth center, Lifeworks.
 

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