When a tornado touched down in Dougherty County, Georgia on the afternoon of January 22, 2017, it left a trail of destruction in its wake. The Piney Wood Estates mobile home park in Albany, Georgia was virtually demolished by the storm; five people were k*illed and nearly all of the mobile homes were destroyed. The storm was also blamed for the disappearance and suspected death of 2-year-old Detrez Green, who lived in Piney Wood Estates with his parents and two siblings.
Detrez’s father, Kevian Green, told police that Detrez had been playing with a remote-control car in their kitchen when the tornado roared through the mobile home park at 3:00 pm. He said that a large oak tree had crashed on top of their trailer and sliced it in two, leaving Detrez cut off from his parents and siblings. Although Detrez’s mother, Adijah Rainey, tried to get to her son, Kevian claimed he believed it was too dangerous so he grabbed Adijah and threw her to the floor. He then watched in horror as his son was whisked away by the tornado.
Search crews arrived that night and launched a massive search for Detrez. They spent hours scouring the area for any sign of the missing toddler, but found nothing pointing to his location. The search continued for five days before it was called off. Every inch of the trailer park had been inspected, along with the woods that surrounded the area. Cadaver dogs, a dive team, helicopters, and small planes had been brought in to assist the ground crews, but they were unable to find any trace of Detrez. The search cost the county tens of thousands of dollars in manpower and equipment, but it had been exceedingly thorough; officials were certain that they would have found Detrez if he was still in the area.
As the search progressed, investigators noticed that Detrez’s parents told several conflicting versions of what had happened the day Detrez went missing, and they started to question if there was any truth to their claim that he had been snatched away by a tornado.
Kevian told his brother that he had been watching television when the tornado hit, but he told a reporter that he had been cooking at the time. He told others that he and his family had been huddled together in anticipation of the approaching tornado. He told investigators that Detrez had been in the kitchen playing with a toy, while Adijah said she had been holding him but he had slipped from her arms immediately before the tornado demolished their trailer.
Chris Terrell, a resident of Piney Wood Estates, told detectives that he had approached Kevian immediately after the tornado passed through to see if he and his family needed any help. Kevian told him that his infant daughter had become trapped between a dresser and a wall, and Chris helped him free her; she was thankfully unhurt. Chris asked if the family needed help with anything else, but Kevian had told him no. He never mentioned Detrez at all.
Even though there was no phone service in the area because of the tornado, emergency workers got to the trailer park quickly. Neither Kevian nor Adijah went up to any of the rescue workers to let them know their son was missing. They instead left their crushed trailer and went to a family member’s house. First, Adijah called 911 from the relative’s house at 8 p.m. She told the operator that she couldn’t call earlier because she lost her cell phone in the storm. My grandfather says that Adijah was much more worried about losing her cell phone than she was about losing her son.
When Detrez’s family finally told the police that he was missing, they asked for a picture of him but couldn’t find one. Later, detectives found out that a picture of Detrez from when he was about five months old had been posted on Facebook. At the time, it looked like that was the only picture of him that existed.
Soon, police realized they were dealing with more than just a missing child. It looked like Detrez had been a victim of m*urder long before the tornado hit Albany. They weren’t the only ones who thought something was wrong; Lica Coley, Adijah’s aunt, told police that she had been worried for a long time about what was going on in her niece’s house.
Adijah thought of Lica as a second mother, but their relationship changed when Adijah started going out with Kevian. She was still in high school when they met. Adijah was seven years older than Kevian, and he was married at the time. His ex-wife had called the police many times to say that Kevian was abusing her, but he always said that he hadn’t done anything wrong. They got divorced in the end, and Adijah moved in with Kevian in October 2012. Adijah was in her senior year of high school at the time.
Their house wasn’t a happy place. It was September 2013, and Adijah was expecting their first child. Kevian hit her in the head and tried to choke her. She called 911 and told the operator that he had grabbed her by the neck and began to choke her while her feet were still on the ground. Police were called to the house and Kevian was arrested. However, Adijah dropped all charges after she gave birth a few weeks later.
This person was born on October 28, 2014. Adijah called her dad when he was only five days old to say that Kevian was beating her and she was going to shoot him if he didn’t stop. His daughter and grandchildren were in danger, so Adijah’s dad called the police. Police were sent to the couple’s house right away, but when they got there, no one was there to answer the door. A SWAT team was called to the scene because people were afraid there might be hostages there.
The police wouldn’t leave after two hours of fighting, so Kevian finally gave in and let them out of the house. He was arrested right away, but Adijah wouldn’t say that they had been fighting. The police tried to explain to her that by defending Kevian, she was putting herself in danger, but she wouldn’t change her mind. Kevian wasn’t charged with a crime and was let go.
The Georgia Division of Children and Family Services knew about the reports of domestic violence but chose not to take the children away from the home. Authorities didn’t think they had enough proof to say that Kevian was a danger to the children because he hadn’t been charged with anything. Detrez’s life could have been lost because of this choice.
At this point, Adijah began to turn her back on her family. She was probably mad that her father had called the police, which led to the SWAT standoff. Her family says that almost no one in her family ever met Detrez; most of them have never even seen a picture of the child.
The police were able to confirm that a few of Adijah’s friends knew Detrez, but none of them could remember the last time they saw him. The only thing that was known for sure was that no one had seen the child in a while, which could be anywhere from a few months to a year.
Even though the family had lived in Piney Wood Estates for a few months before the tornado, no one the detectives talked to had ever seen Detrez. The police thought that Detrez had probably died before the family moved to Dougherty County.
Detectives got a search warrant for their old home on Pine Knot Road in Turner County a few days after Detrez was reported missing. They also got one for a house in Houston County where they had lived for a short time before moving to Piney Wood Estates. They dug for hours in different areas near the couple’s old homes but couldn’t find any signs of what had happened to Detrez.
Kevian and Adijah said Detrez was missing less than a week ago. The Georgia Department of Children and Family Services took Detrez’s older brother and baby sister and put them in foster care.
By November, detectives admitted that their investigation had gone cold. They were certain that Detrez was dead but were unable to state with certainty when or how he had died. Kevian and Adijah continued to insist that Detrez had been snatched away by the 150 mph winds of the tornado and that his body had to be out there somewhere; investigators doubted that this was the case but had no physical evidence to prove or disprove their claim.
Detectives believe that Detrez’s parents know the truth about what happened to the little boy, but they have refused to cooperate with any further investigation. Although Detrez’s case has been cold for years, investigators still hope that they will one day learn what happened to Detrez and recover his body so that he can be given a proper burial.
Detrez Green was reported missing in 2017 when he was 2 years old, but he may have gone missing at an earlier date. No pictures of Detrez have ever been released to the public; his description is unavailable. Detectives do not believe that Detrez is still alive; he is presumed to be a victim of foul play. If you have any information about Detrez, please contact the Dougherty County Police Department at 229–430–6600 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Regional Office in Sylvester at 229–777–2080.