Mother’s murder makes way for paternity test in rare, unlikely case

Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 18:49:31-05

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- Tragedy in November 2017 led to a boy learning who his biological father is, according to David Smith.

Jessica Lynn True-Wallace died November 30th after being beaten to death in her Van Buren County home. Investigators said the perpetrators then set her home on fire. Wallace left behind four children, one of whom is Smith's biological child.

However, Smith said someone forged his signature on a legal document (Affidavit of Parentage) which made him legally responsible for another boy named Anthony. He said a paternity test proved Anthony is not his biological son. After years of battling having to pay child support for Anthony and Anthony now becoming an orphan, Smith said he made a stunning discovery.

Smith, who owns a construction business, hired Kyle Pantelleria.

"I actually hired Kyle shortly after the tragedy took place on November 30th, and I was looking at him and he looks exactly like this kid. And I'm like, 'This is crazy that I'm going to say this, but you look just like this kid,'" Smith recalled.

Pantelleria agreed to take a paternity test through the Cass County court system to see if Anthony is his son.

"They read the test results: 100% [Kyle Pantelleria]'s the father, and 100% I'm not the father," Smith said.

He stated, "I mean, what's the odds of that happening. I mean, actually it's a gift from God. It actually is."

A boy on the brink of becoming an orphan will soon find a new home with his biological father.​

"Technically, the only reason they would allow this to happen was two reasons. One, that tragedy took place. She was murdered. Two, there was forgery involved," Smith said. He said a forensic expert proved the signature on the Affidavit of Parentage wasn't his.

Panterellia said, "I'm just stoked. I can't believe it. Now I'm just hoping that I can get him to be in a better place to where he is right now."

Another hearing to move the custody process forward is scheduled for Monday.

Two people have been arrested in Wallace's murder, including a new arrest. Nina Levenhagen is being held on $3 million bond. Glenn Tett Jr. is the other suspect.