Authorities say a 7-year-old boy who was unconscious after being found badly burned and beaten in an apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire, last week has died.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and Manchester police announced Wednesday in a joint release that they consider Jaevion Riley’s death “suspicious” and that their investigation is ongoing.
Emergency crews responding to a report of a toddler in distress at a Manchester apartment on Jan. 17 found Jaevion unconscious and suffering from severe burns, police said. He was taken to a local hospital and later to a hospital in Boston, where he died on Tuesday.
The Massachusetts chief medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy on the child, but the results are not expected for several months, pending further studies, prosecutors said.
The child’s father, Murtadah Mohammad, aged twenty-five, was arrested last week and charged with various offenses stemming from the abuse of his son, including a case of first-degree abuse, which two counts of second-degree assault, two counts. of perjury and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was appointed public defender.
According to court documents, Mohammad told first responders that he was in the shower when his son was hurt and did not see what happened. However, first responders noted that there was no evidence that the person had just taken a shower, and there were other inconsistencies in his statement. He would later tell police, according to an arrest affidavit filed in court, that he used force and hot water as methods of discipline.
A mother says the man accused of a horrific attack that left her son unconscious is the father of the child who gave birth to him.
The child’s mother, Rainah Riley, told NBC10 Boston last week that her son was unconscious and that the hospital described his injuries as “torture, cutting and abuse.” He says Jaevion suffered a fractured skull and ribs, bleeding on the brain, lung damage, severe burns and more.
She said: “It’s absolutely horrible, it’s horrible, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. It makes me physically sick to look at my son because of what this man did to him.
Riley said Mohammad won joint custody of Jaevion a few months ago. She said she tried to report signs of abuse, such as bruises, to the New Hampshire Department of Children, Youth and Families, but nothing was done.
Riley said: “I called him for a health check when he was with him, for the injury, and nobody did anything. “The system failed not only my child, but and many children. And something needs to be done, because this is not right. It’s not like that. Like, when is enough not enough?”
When asked last week about Riley’s account, a DCYF representative said the agency must protect the privacy of children and families under federal and state law.