The NYPD has identified the mother and father of the 8-month-old boy found dead and floating near the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday — and the father, who fled to Thailand, is expected to be returned to New York within the week to face charges.
James Currie, 37, of the Bronx, is wanted for concealing a human corpse, Dermot Shea, NYPD Chief of Detectives, said during a Wednesday news conference at police headquarters, steps from where tourists first spotted the baby floating in the water just after 4 p.m. Sunday.
The baby was not breathing and had no pulse when Monte Campbell, a chiropractor from Oklahoma on vacation with his family, waded into the East River and pulled him from the water, as previously reported by Oxygen.com. The baby was clad in only a diaper.
“At this point in time we do not have a definitive cause of death,” Shea explained Wednesday afternoon.
“Additional testing necessary. So there is a possibility that these charges as we go forward, could be upgraded. But right now we have an arrest warrant in hand for the charge of concealment of a human corpse.”
Police attention focused on Currie, Shea said, after the baby’s mother called 9-1-1 on Monday to report Currie for violating the terms of joint parental custody order, and keeping their baby longer than what the order allows.
“It starts out to report the child was not dropped off at daycare or some school-type facility that day,” Shea said. “At some point during the call. And there was no mention of harm to the child.
“At some point, the mother brings up on her own that she heard on the news about a child in the water and she fears the worse and starts crying.”
“I don’t think anyone could listen to the call without their blood curdling,” Shea added, before laying out the NYPD’s case against Currie.
Around noon on Saturday the baby’s mother handed the child over to Currie as part of the joint parental custody order. That night, surveillance video in Currie’s building captured the two entering Currie’s Co-Op City apartment. But when then left the next day, on Sunday, the baby was dead, Shea said.
“He had sole custody, at that point in time. He walked into that residence, where he lives alone. We have on video that the child was fine walking into that location. When he came out of that location, we believe at that point in time, that that child was concealed on his person.”
Additionally, Shea cited surveillance video that captured Currie walking along the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge shortly after 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, an hour before Campbell first spotted the baby in the water, dead.
Then, on Monday afternoon, Currie boarded a plane to Thailand. He was not allowed to enter the country, Shea said, and is currently being detained there pursuant to the warrant for his arrest.
He is expected to be returned to New York City within a week.