Suspect in infant’s death told police he dropped the child

DOVER — A 28-year-old man told police he dropped an infant who later died Jan. 3 after lifting him by one arm from his shoulder/chest level, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by investigating law enforcement.

Edjuan Blackshear was charged with first-degree murder by abuse neglect following the death of a one-year-old boy he was caring for at an apartment in the 800 block of Woodcrest Drive last week, Dover Police said. Other charges included child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown in default of $101,000 cash bond.

According to court documents, the child suffered a collapsed lung, multiple broken ribs, subdual head bleed, bruising on his nose/chin area and bruising on his left and right underarm/rib area. He was initially taken to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital by medical personnel after police were called Jan. 2, and then airlifted to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.

Police were first called to the apartment scene for a report of a child not breathing.

In the affidavit, police said Mr. Blackshear told officers he got home from work just after 6 a.m. and two children were sleeping. He then “allowed the boys to play in the living room and at one point had to remove (the late child) from a playpen because (of) hitting (another child) with a toy in the head,” according to documents.

Mr. Blackshear said he was the only person in the apartment and was responsible for the care of the two boys, police said.

The time of the alleged incident was listed as 12:38 p.m. in a news release and the child was pronounced dead at approximately 12:35 a.m. the next day, according to authorities.

The child’s mother told police she had changed the late boy’s clothing several times in the past few days, and “bathed him as recently as (Dec. 31, 2018) and did not notice any injuries/bruising on (her son).”

The woman said she left work at approximately 6 a.m. (on Jan. 2), checked the children and they appeared fine.”

At one point, police said, Mr. Blackshear said he “grabbed (the late child) with both hands underneath of his arms abruptly and picked him up.”

In papers, the late boy was described in relationship to the defendant as the “child of boyfriend/girlfriend.”

Dover Police consulted with the Delaware Department of Justice during the investigation before charges were announced, authorities said.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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