PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police have identified the stepfather accused of sexually assaulting a 1-year-old boy who died.
Police say 24-year-old Saleem Salaam has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and rape, in the death of the toddler earlier this month.
Police responded to the 1700 block of South Conestoga Street on June 7 for a report of an unresponsive child. When police arrived, they said Salaam told them the boy was upstairs and not breathing.
Emergency responders found the boy without a pulse. He was transported to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he was pronounced dead.
Police say the attending physician found multiple bruises on the child and signs of sexual assault.
Neighbors on the block were shocked by the sudden death of the boy.
Brande Smith says she often saw the mother holding her son around the neighborhood.
“This woman loves this little boy unconditionally. I just never thought anything like this would happen on our block,” she said. “I can’t imagine what a mother feels when they lose a child.”