The father of the 7-month-old infant who was found floating in the East River over the weekend has been taken into custody in Thailand and is due back in New York next week, the NYPD says.
The father, James Currie, 37, from Co-op City in the Bronx is expected to face charges of concealment of a human corpse in the alleged dumping of his baby, identified as Mason Saldana, authorities say. Additional charges could be filed pending an autopsy. A determination on the baby's cause of death isn't expected this week.
In a Wednesday press conference, NYPD Chief Dermont Shea said there were significant updates in the case over the past 24 hours and provided a timeline of the events leading up to the infant being discovered floating in the river.
The child, who was born in January, was exchanged between the mother and father at the mother’s residence around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. However, around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the child’s father was seen leaving his home with a backpack covered with a blanket, fashioned as baby carrier, officials said, and it is believed the infant was already deceased at this time.
Currie was then seen walking in Lower Manhattan, between South Street Seaport and Wall Street Heliport, around 3:10 p.m. with the backpack, officials say.
The mother of the infant who was found floating in the East River over the weekend allegedly attempted to get in touch with the child’s father before sensing something was amiss and contacting authorities Monday night to report a custodial dispute.
During the "blood-curdling" call to 911, the mother said the child was not dropped off at daycare, Shea said, adding that at some point she'd heard about the child in the water, feared the worst and started crying.
It was because of this call that authorities were able to identify the child found in the river.
On Monday, the father boarded a plane to Bangkok, Thailand, and was apprehended in Thailand. He is expected to return to New York sometime next week to face charges of concealment of a human corpse.
It's unclear if Currie has an attorney.
The cause of death of the child has yet to be determined since additional testing is necessary, however, pending the results, Currie's charges could be upgraded, authorities say.
According to officials, there was a court-stipulated agreement for visitation involving the parents, who were not legally married, and the child, but there were no red flags.
The baby was discovered near the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday just after 4 p.m. A tourist from Oklahoma saw the child floating in the water and jumped in to bring him ashore, then tried to resuscitate him, witnesses and police said.
The boy, who was wearing only a diaper, did not survive.
Monte Campbell, the tourist from Stillwater, Oklahoma, who jumped into the water, said it was his wife Diana who first spotted the baby's body.
"She just called me over and said there was a baby in the water. I called 911. At that point I thought it was a doll," said Campbell. He jumped into the water and brought the baby ashore, performing CPR until help arrived.
Police said they moved the child from the embankment to the pedestrian walkway and continued CPR until an ambulance came. Diana Campbell said her husband didn't feel a pulse.
A backpack was floating near the baby, she said. It was also recovered.