Schenectady family describes events the night before baby Halo’s death

Family of Halo mother’s boyfriend speaks

A Schenectady family is describing what happened the night Persia Nelson left the house with her baby. The baby was later found on the GE campus, and died of exposure.

SCHENECTADY – The Gregorys say they thought Persia Nelson went out to cool off after a disagreement at a family gathering in Schenectady Saturday night, but then they couldn’t find her.

Dante Gregory is Nelson’s boyfriend.

“So we gave it a little more time. We figured she probably walked back to my sister’s house. She never showed up,” said Allegra Gregory, Dante’s mother. “So by the time we’re looking around, cleaning up and everything, we noticed her jacket is still here. Her cellphone is still here. We’re like, oh, that’s why she never called back. She doesn’t have her phone.”

They went out in groups to look for her, finally calling police.

“But I figured they would put out an Amber Alert way before the time that they did,” said Allegra Gregory.

Persia Nelson posted on Facebook at 8:16pm: “I’m drunk asf don’t play with me right now lmfaooo,” but her boyfriend’s family says she didn’t seem to be.

“No, she wasn’t drunk she was just pissed off,” said Allegra.

“She drank, correct. She smoked, correct. But I would not say Persia was impaired,” said Issac Gregory, Dante’s brother.

Police say G.E. security found Nelson on their campus at about 11pm Saturday night, and that she didn’t know how she had gotten there.

They later found Nelson’s 10-month-old daughter, Halo Branton.

Authorities say the baby had been dropped into a utility tunnel, was half submerged in water, and died of exposure, hypothermia.

“We can’t comprehend how she ended up on GE’s campus,” said Issac Gregory. “We can’t comprehend how Persia would do that to her baby. As far as I know, Persia is a great mom, and she was doing the best she could. A lot of people are already turning on her, attacking her, saying this and that about her. But you weren’t there. I wasn’t there. And I just think we shouldn’t pass judgment until the case is over.”

Nelson has been charged with manslaughter. A depraved murder charge is pending.

The Gregorys have concerns about appearing before a grand jury.

“And say what? I have nothing else,” said Allegra Gregory. “Like I told the DA, I only know Persia from a domestic violence incident. As a mother of 10, I took her in my house.”

“We also feel we can’t talk to the grand jury without Dante having to talk to the grand jury, and Dante isn’t in the mental state to do that,” said Issac.

“Dante is not in the mental state to talk to anybody,” agreed his mother.

Gregory says Nelson has been staying with her sister, Dante’s aunt.

She said when police told Dante they had Persia, but that Halo was missing, he screamed in the car.