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Grand Rapids baby died from physical abuse, medical examiner says

Following the January death of an infant, Abdullah Muhammad, the infant's father, has now been charged with homicide and child abuse, 1st degree.
Credit: WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A 21-year-old Grand Rapids father is now facing charges in the death of his baby who was found not breathing in January. 

The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) responded to a medical call of an infant not breathing on Jan. 15 around 8 p.m. in the 100 block of Burton Street Southwest. 

When officers made it to the scene, they found the baby not breathing. Despite efforts to revive the child, the baby later died at the hospital. 

Kent County Medical Examiner completed an autopsy and ruled the child's death a homicide. The report indicates that due to the child's age, there was no way his injuries could be self-inflicted. The boy's diagnosis was pediatric physical abuse. 

After a lengthy investigation, the GRPD issued a warrant for the arrest of 21-year-old Abdullah Muhammad, the infant's father.

Muhammad was then taken into custody and booked at the Kent County Correctional Facility for the charges of homicide and child abuse, 1st degree.

"This is an example of the determination and commitment of GRPD detectives," said Police Chief Eric Winstrom. "Throughout these months of investigation, detectives did not waiver in their commitment to bring justice for this child.

13 ON YOUR SIDE obtained the probable cause affidavit filed in this case, which provided a clearer timeline leading up to the baby boy's death. 

The baby's mother left their home to get a pizza and was away for about 20 minutes when she returned to find her son in Muhammad's arms choking and turning blue. 

Muhammad told police he had been feeding the baby while the mother was out and then the baby started to throw up. 

He told detectives he believes he made a mistake by laying the baby down while he was spitting up and choking. Muhammad said he tried blowing into the baby's mouth to get the fluid out, but when he picked him up from the bed, he continued to cry. 

Muhammad said he didn't notice the baby had turned blue until the child's mother returned home and pointed it out to him. 

When detectives asked Muhammad about the baby's head trauma injury, he couldn't explain how it happened. 

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