The father of the infant found dead in the East River near the South Street Seaport was stopped at a Bangkok airport before he could enter the country — and will be brought back to the Big Apple to face criminal charges, cops said Wednesday.
James Currie, the father of the 7-month-old baby identified by sources as Mason Saldona, will be arrested on a charge of concealment of a corpse when he is brought back to the city in about a week, said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.
“We are working closely with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on this case. This is an active investigation,” Shea said.
The infant, wearing only a diaper, was pulled from the waters near the South Street Seaport at about 4 p.m. on Sunday – and cops believe the baby died at Currie’s Bronx apartment.
According to police officials, Currie picked the child up from the baby’s mother’s home – also in the Bronx – at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
About 20 minutes later, Currie is seen on surveillance footage returning to his home in Co-Op City and the child is seen alive and apparently healthy, Shea said.
The next day, the dad is again seen on video leaving his residence with a backpack worn on the front of his body and covered with a blanket.
“We believe at this time that the child was deceased in that 24-hour period,” Shea said.
Roughly 50 minutes before the baby was found in the water, Currie was seen walking in lower Manhattan near the South Street Seaport and carrying a backpack.
When the baby was found, a backpack was recovered near the baby’s body.
On Monday at around 2:19 p.m., he boarded a flight at JFK Airport to Bangkok and about seven hours later, police received a 911 call from the mother of the baby, police said.
Shea said that Currie landed in Bangkok, but “was never admitted into the country. He will be returned here.”
He called it a “heartbreaking case.”
“The case is still active, there will not be a good ending to this story. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the mother of this child during this difficult time. This is clearly something that no parent should have to live through,” Shea said, adding, “there was no, to my knowledge, any red flags.”
The child’s mother told cops she feared the worst when she saw a news report about the child being pulled from the water.
“I don’t think anyone could listen to the call without their blood curdling,” Shea said. “At some point during the call….the mother brings up on her own that she heard about a child in the water and she fears the worse and starts crying.”
The mother and Currie were not married and only had one baby together, according to Shea.
A cause of death for the baby is not yet known. – AP
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