SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - "It's sad. It's sad. It really is,” said Diane Williams. She’s one of many neighbors in disbelief over what police say happened to a 1-year-old boy on their street. His stepfather is in custody and facing charges. Williams was sitting on her steps around 5 p.m. yesterday when emergency crews showed up.
"All I know is they brought the baby out and put him in an ambulance. I thought the baby was going to be alright," she said.
Police were called to a home on the 1700 block of South Conestoga Street in Southwest Philadelphia for an unresponsive child.
When officers arrived on scene, they were met by a 24-year-old man, the boy’s stepfather, who stated that his stepson was upstairs and unresponsive. A half hour later at CHOP, the boy was pronounced dead. Police say a doctor discovered multiple bruises on his body, as well as signs of sexual assault.
"I thought the baby was going to be alright. I really did until they put the yellow tape out, and then we just started crying and everybody started crying," said Williams.
On Thursday, a city worker showed up at the house. Shortly after, a group of people who neighbors say were renting rooms in the house arrived to move out their belongings. A man and a woman who did not want to talk on camera told Fox 29’s Shawnette Wilson they own the house, but that someone had been squatting there and renting the place after they moved out. Neighbors say they didn't know the man charged, but they say the mother had been living there for about six months.
"Always holding the baby. I know she loved that baby. I know she did," said Williams.
The man who identified himself as the child's stepfather is facing a list of charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, endangering the welfare of a child and related offenses.
It’s unclear where the child’s mother was when emergency crews were called to the home.