Saturday, February 27, 2010

Abandoned toddler's dad charged in slaying of mother (Newark, New Jersey)

Dad DWAYNE JACKSON, who abducted then abandoned his 20-month-old daughter in a Newark gas station men's room, has been charged with the murder of her mother.

Delaware crime: Toddler's dad charged in slaying of mother
Delaware officials decide options for little girl

By ADAM TAYLOR • The News Journal • February 27, 2010

The father of a 20-month-old girl abandoned in a Newark gas station was charged late Thursday with killing her mother, New Jersey officials said.

Dwayne Jackson suffocated Patricia Belizaire Sunday in New Jersey, then set her body on fire in New York state early Monday, authorities in Middlesex County, N.J., said.

Their daughter was found Sunday alone in a locked Shell station restroom at 804 S. College Ave.
The father was charged Thursday afternoon with kidnapping her.

And now that Hannah Belizaire Jackson's identity is known, officials in Delaware are reviewing options for the girl's future.

They include considering whether relatives or others who want to care for her are suitable guardians, said Joseph Smack of Delaware's Division of Child Services.

"A case like this is so overwhelming because the girl is so young and impressionable and will have so many issues," said Edwina Bell, a director for the nonprofit Professional Counseling Resources of Wilmington, who works with relatives of murder victims and children with incarcerated parents.

"I think the best course for the professionals in this case would be to take a holistic approach and deal with all her needs and recovery simultaneously."

Jackson, 25, of 3 Weldon Road in Edison, N.J., was charged about 10:30 p.m. Thursday with murdering Belizaire, also 25, of New Brunswick, N.J.

Investigators did not reveal a possible motive.

Jackson allegedly killed Belizaire in North Brunswick, then drove her body to a park in Ramapo, N.Y., where it was set on fire around 5:22 a.m. Monday, according to the investigation by the North Brunswick Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, both in New Jersey.

Authorities said Belizaire was asphyxiated.

Her charred and burning body was found by two newspaper carriers in the front parking lot of Manny Weldler Town Park.

Hannah was found in the gas station about 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Newark police said. Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office spokesman James O'Neill would not comment on whether authorities think Belizaire was killed before or after Hannah was abandoned.