Tragedy struck a Southwest Philadelphia community, after the brutal death of a 1-year-old child at the hands of his stepfather.
WTFX reports that on June 7, emergency crews arrived to a residence in Southwest Philadelphia after being called to help an unresponsive child. A 24-year-old man claiming to be the boy's stepfather met the emergency crews at the scene and the child was removed from the residence.
WABC reports that when officers and firefighters went upstairs in the home, they found the infant lying on the floor without a pulse.
A half hour later at hospital, the child was pronounced dead. Shortly after, the boy's stepfather was taken into custody by the Special Victims Unit for further investigation. Doctors discovered multiple bruises on the child's body, as well as signs of sexual assault.
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According to WABC, the man's name will be released upon completion of his processing. He currently faces charges of aggravated assault, rape, attempted murder, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of a child, and other other related offenses.
Many neighbors devastated by the news expressed their sadness to WTFX. One neighbor, Diane Williams, saw the child and his mother often. She described the boy's mother as attentive and caring. "Always holding the baby. I know she loved that baby. I know she did," Williams told reporters.
It is however currently unclear where the infant's mother was when officers were called to the home. The mother apparently lived at that residence for about six months. Neighbors claimed to not know the man involved.
"It's sad. It's sad. It really is," said Williams to WTFX. "All I know is they brought the baby out and put him in an ambulance. I thought the baby was going to be alright. I really did until they put that yellow tape out. And then we just started crying and everybody started crying."
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When city workers arrived to the house the next day, a number of people apparently renting rooms in the house were moving out their belongings. The house's owners refused to talk on camera, but confirmed that there were people both squatting and renting in the residence.
Police have yet to release more information about the name of the victim or victim's mother, the name of the suspect, or exact cause of death.