BALTIMORE - Paramedics responding to a 911 call from the back alley apartment off North Stricker Street in West Baltimore arrived too late to save a one year old baby girl, but police didn’t have to go gar to find a suspect.
"That child was transported to an area hospital and, sadly, pronounced dead,” said Detective Nicole Monroe, “At that point homicide detectives became involved, and they began to question the child's caregiver at that time who was the mother's boyfriend."
22-year old Sharmell Thomas was no stranger to police.
In fact, he already faced charges that he assaulted a Baltimore City police officer back in March and that he beat up his girlfriend in the same North Stricker apartment the following month.
The battered mother had apparently left her baby in Thomas’s care the morning her daughter died, even though he was wanted in connection with the assault on her six weeks earlier.
"During the interview, he revealed to detectives that at some point while he was caring for the child, he did pick her up and shake her. Detectives did observe noticeable bruises on the child," said Det. Monroe.
The baby’s mother refused to comment as she moved out of the apartment this morning, but neighbors, many of them who have small children themselves, had plenty to say.
"I just heard about the little child passing away. That's crazy what happened or whatever. I'm not even too sure, but that man there. He needs to take the death penalty or something cause that's just crazy," said LaShay Brooks.
Police are still awaiting the results of an autopsy on the baby to learn the exact cause of death.
Meanwhile, Thomas is being held at Central Booking on a series of charges including child abuse, assault and second degree murder.
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