Details of Disappearance
Kendrick moved in with his father, stepmother and two half-siblings a few months before his disappearance; he had been previously raised by his maternal grandmother and his mother. The family resided in the Canfield Falls apartment complex in the 1200 block of Wilcrest in Houston, Texas. Photographs of Kendrick's mother, Keyanna Jackson, and his father, Roderick Terrell Fountain, are posted with this case summary.
Fountain stated Kendrick disappeared from the apartment at 9:30 a.m. on April 7, 2006. He said he last saw his son in the child's bedroom; Kendrick was sitting up in the bed at the time. Fountain left the apartment for a few minutes to do laundry. When he returned, Kendrick was missing and the front door was open.
Initially it was believed that Kendrick had been abducted by a non-family member, as witnesses reported seeing him with an unidentified African-American man at a Metro bus stop outside Kendrick's apartment complex. The man was described as between 30 and 40 years old, 5'7 to 5'9 tall, and wearing jeans and a white shirt. The investigation quickly turned in another direction, however.
Just days after Kendrick was last seen, Fountain was arrested and charged with filing a false police report in connection with his son's disappearance. He reportedly made inconsistent statements about the events leading up to his son's vanishing and could not satisfactorily account for his whereabouts between 2:30 and 6:00 a.m. on April 7.
The day after his arrest, he was additionally charged with causing injury to a child; this charge is the result of bruises that were seen on Kendrick prior to his disappearance.
Later in April 2006, Fountain was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Investigators had found a shotgun in his residence when they searched it for evidence in Kendrick's case.
Fountain has multiple felony convictions dating back to 1992, for drug, theft and weapons-related offenses as well as violent offenses. He was accused of murdering a teenage boy in 2000, and actually arrested for the crime, but released due to lack of evidence. Because of his criminal history he is not legally allowed to own a gun. Fountain pleaded guilty to the firearms charge in September 2006.
Investigators have long believed Kendrick is deceased and Fountain was responsible for his death. He has been ordered to have no contact with the two other children he has by his wife. He has six additional children by other women.
Keyanna has passed a lie detector test in connection with Kendrick's disappearance and is not a suspect, and neither is any other member of Kendrick's family.
Keyanna initially stated she believed Kendrick had been abducted by a stranger and Fountain had not harmed him. She later changed her mind and said she suspected Fountain had killed his son. She said she had witnessed Fountain severely abusing Kendrick on many occasions, but still allowed them to be together because she wanted the child to have a relationship with his father.
In June 2009, over three years after Kendrick's disappearance, his father was charged with the child's murder. He is charged with felony murder: that is, murder committed while committing felony injury to a child. Authorities believe Kendrick died after his father struck him with his bare hands.
At his trial in the fall of 2011, Fountain's defense argued that without a body, there was no proof the child was dead. Prosecutors theorized that Fountain killed his son unintentionally while beating him.
Two of Fountain's former cellmates testified, saying he had told them he killed Kendrick after the child wet himself, then wrapped the body in garbage bags and disposed of it off a boat ramp in Louisiana.
Fountain was convicted of Kendrick's murder in October 2011 and sentenced to life in prison. He maintains his innocence.
Kendrick's body has never been found. Foul play is suspected in his disappearance due to the circumstances involved.