Avantae Deven Murders 2 Children

Avantae Deven
Avantae Deven

Avantae Deven is an alleged killer from North Carolina who has been charged in the murders of her two adopted children

According to police reports officers in Fayetteville North Carolina had been investigating Avantae Deven as her two adopted children had not been seen in years. After the investigations the officers declared that the two children, Blake Deven, 15, had not been seen since 2022 and London Devne had not been scene since 2019

Social workers would interview the other three children in the home who spoke of the abusive treatment they had suffered at the hands of Avantae Deven

Avantae Deven has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of concealment of death, one count of kidnapping related to London Deven’s death, and two counts of felony child abuse related to Blake Deven’s death

Avantae Deven News

A 63-year-old North Carolina woman accused of abusing two of her adopted children has been charged in their deaths.

The two children, Blake and London Deven, haven’t been seen for years.

Fayetteville police say evidence shows they are both deceased.

Avantae Deven was arrested on Wednesday. She’s facing charges that include first-degree murder, concealment of death, kidnapping and child abuse.

Investigators say the abuse included starvation.

London was last seen in 2019, but police say her adoptive mother never reported her missing.

Blake hasn’t been seen since 2022, but Deven didn’t report him missing until earlier this year.

Deven is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center without bond.


Avantae Deven More News

The woman said she hadn’t seen her son for over a year.

“He told me he was going to a Buddhist retreat and never called back,” she told the emergency dispatcher in a recently released 911 call.

That call was made in January. Now, her son has been missing for 632 days.

In an over eight-minute recording punctuated with sighs, a story peppered with inconsistencies emerges in the 911 call. The woman, 63-year-old Avantae Deven, first says her 17-year-old son disappeared a year ago, then says it was “around the holidays” between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2022. She later says she doesn’t have the phone number he last called her from, or even the phone where she received the call.

Police would eventually find that by the time she first made a missing person’s call on Jan. 19, 2024, that boy — Blake Deven of Fayetteville — had been missing since Aug. 1, 2022. The Fayetteville Police Department announced his disappearance in a March 28 news release. A week later, the case got a new twist: Police announced a female relative of Blake’s, 27-year-old London Deven, was also missing.

And then one more revelation: Police announced on April 12 that skeletal remains were discovered at an undisclosed location during the investigation. Investigators say they are awaiting test results from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that may identify the deceased.

As the search for them approaches the one-month mark, Cumberland County residents are asking: what happened to Blake and London?

Who’s involved

According to Fayetteville Police Department news releases, court documents and police reports, the key people tied to the case include:

Blake Deven, 17, the adopted son of Avantae Deven. He has not been seen since Aug. 1, 2022.
London Deven, 27, a “female relative” of Blake. According to the incident report, she has not been seen since June 6, 2019, with the most recent photo available to investigators dating back to 2007, when London was about 12. London’s age was initially listed in news releases as 28, but Chief Kemberle Braden clarified she is 27 in a press conference earlier this month. Police have so far declined to clarify how she is related to Blake.
Avantae Deven, 63, the adoptive mother of Blake and London. Police said her family relocated to Fayetteville in 2015, although it’s not clear from where or why.
Leonie Maxwell, 95, the mother of Avantae Deven. Court records show she has been placed in the custody of Cumberland County Adult Protective Services after Avantae Deven failed to respond to multiple contact attempts by officials from Cape Fear Valley Hospital, where Maxwell is currently in the ICU. Records show Maxwell lives with her daughter at her Berriedale Drive home in Fayetteville.

What we know

Before the Devens moved to Fayetteville, it appears Avantae Deven was living in Buncombe County — IRS tax records show her living in Enka, an unincorporated community there, while she was the registered agent for a nonprofit called the Infinity Institute from 2011 to 2016.

The Infinity Institute was established in Nevada by Robert Adams, a teacher of a philosophy of Hinduism called Advaita Vedanta, in 1996, according to the nonprofit’s website and Nevada state records.

Property records show an LLC created in New Mexico owns Avantae Deven’s Berriedale Drive home. According to records from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website, Avantae Deven registered the LLC, called Nelson & Johnson, under a Sedona, Arizona, address in September 2016. The LLC’s purpose was listed as “gatherings for various artists [sic] showings and book sharing/readings.”

According to police records, the first chapter in the Deven family mystery came to light Jan. 19, 2024, when Avantae Deven called 911 at 1:17 p.m. to report her teenage son was missing.

“I need to file a missing person’s report,” she tells the dispatcher.

Avantae Deven goes on to say that her 17-year-old son, who will turn 18 on May 10, 2024, is missing. She describes him as white with “blondish-brown” hair but adds that she can’t recall what he was last wearing, according to a recording of the 911 call.

She last saw him a year ago, she guesses.

“It was around the holidays, after December,” Avantae Deven says. “It was between Thanksgiving and December.”

When the operator asks if Avantae Deven thinks her son has run away, she replies that she believes he has.

“He is generally religious, and he used to go back and forth about a Buddhist retreat, and meditation, things like that,” Avantae Deven says. “My daughter did that once for six months, and she called, so I thought, OK. He’s very independent and high-strung and very bossy, so it’s not very unlikely of his character.”

Avantae Deven tells the operator her son doesn’t have any medical or mental health conditions, apart from being diagnosed with static encephalopathy when he was younger. According to the Child Neurology Center, static encephalopathy is permanent brain damage often associated with exposure to alcohol in the womb.

Throughout the call, Avantae Deven struggles to answer the operator’s questions, saying she doesn’t know where Blake called her from but that he was last seen at a store “on Pamalee, Ramsey.” It’s unclear what store Avantae Deven was referring to. She says in the 911 call that she believes the store has closed since Blake’s disappearance.

An incident report tied to the case says Blake was last seen Aug. 1, 2022, at 1 p.m., meaning he would have been 16 at the time. The address on the report is for the Ramsey Street Walmart.

Police have not released any details about what transpired in the time between Avantae Deven’s report Jan. 19 and the Fayetteville Police Department’s first news release March 28, saying only that “several members of Blake’s family” reported they had not seen him in years during “a separate police investigation.”

Court records show Avantae Deven was also facing another problem at home: Her mother, Leonie Maxwell, 95, had sustained an anoxic brain injury in November 2023, rendering her nonverbal and nonresponsive and in need of “round-the-clock care.”

At some point, court records state, Maxwell was admitted to the cardiac ICU at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and placed on a ventilator.

“[Maxwell’s] daughter, Avantae Deven, has not been responding to calls from medical staff concerning necessary medical decisions for [Maxwell] since March 27, 2024,” a petition to place Maxwell in emergency protective care states. “Cape Fear Valley Medical Center sent a welfare check to Ms. Deven’s home on March 30, 2024 and no one answered the door.”

A next-of-kin listed for Maxwell also did not respond to calls, according to the petition.

That’s when DSS officials stepped in, requesting to temporarily make emergency decisions in Maxwell’s care and appoint her a guardian ad litem — a guardian chosen by the court — on April 10. That same day, court records show, DSS also asked the court to freeze Maxwell’s financial assets and grant officials permission to inspect her financial records.

“Upon information and belief, [Maxwell] has a bank account with Wells Fargo containing a sum in excess of $15,000,” the petition states. “[DSS] is unaware of the extent of [Maxwell]’s assets at this time; however, [Maxwell] is unable to resist financial exploitation and is in need of protective measures at this time.”

The order granting DSS’s request states officials believe Avantae Deven may have been financially exploiting her mother. The petition notes that Avantae Deven’s home “has been searched by law enforcement multiple times” in connection with London and Blake’s disappearances.

Reporters from CityView and The Fayetteville Observer were not allowed into a court hearing regarding Maxwell’s case Wednesday afternoon. Court officials said that particular courtroom is “always closed” for confidentiality reasons. An attorney with the North Carolina Press Association’s hotline told CityView keeping a courtroom perpetually closed is illegal, noting that a judge must issue a written order each time explaining why the courtroom should be closed.

What’s next

Police announced on April 12 skeletal remains were discovered on an undisclosed date at an undisclosed location — but confirmed they were not found at the Berriedale Drive home. The remains were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for testing, according to a news release, which could take months. As the public awaits the results, the Fayetteville Police Department has largely kept quiet about the case.

Public Information Officer Rickelle Harrell declined to answer any questions sent by CityView Tuesday, writing, “[A]t this moment, the Fayetteville Police Department does not have any further information to provide regarding your inquiries. While it’s not easy to admit, it’s important to acknowledge that this investigation is still in progress.”

In response to questions sent by CityView, an FBI spokesperson said they did not “have anything to provide” beyond the Fayetteville Police Department’s news releases. Avantae Deven and the next-of-kin listed for Maxwell on court documents could not be reached for comment.

She said her teenager went to a ‘Buddhist retreat.’ Now, he’s been missing for 632 days
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