Friday, February 26, 2010

Dad "linked" to murder of mom and abduction/abandonment of 20-month-old daughter (Edison, New Jersey)

Dad DWAYNE JACKSON has been charged with abducting his 20-month-old daughter--and then abandoning her in a men's room. It appears he is also "linked" to the murder of little girl's mother as well. Was this daddy's idea for more father-daughter time? Guess he got tired of it pretty fast.

Edison man is charged with abducting, abandoning daughter at Delaware gas station
By Sue Epstein
February 25, 2010, 6:30PM

EDISON — The Middlesex County father of a toddler abandoned earlier this week in the men’s room of a Shell gas station in Delaware was charged today with her kidnapping, and he may also be linked to the death of a woman believed to be her mother, authorities said.

Authorities believe that a woman whose body was found burning in a park in Mosney, N.Y., less than 24 hours after the child was discovered in Delaware may have been the abandoned girl’s mother, said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.

The Rockland County Journal News, citing an unnamed law enforcement source, identified the woman as 24-year-old Patricia Belizaire of North Brunswick.

Zugibe would not confirm the woman who was burned in Ramapo was Belizaire, but he said it "does appear likely" that "the murder victim found in Rockland County is the mother of the abandoned child found in Newark, Delaware."

He could not reveal the victim’s identity because "we have no positive identification of her yet."

Dwayne Jackson, 25, of Edison has not been charged with the woman’s death, but he remains in the Middlesex County jail in lieu of $750,000 bail on kidnapping and child endangerment charges. Jackson’s 20-month-old daughter was found in the men’s room in Newark, Del., Sunday after a customer heard the little girl crying, authorities said.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan, whose office is overseeing the investigation, said police in Newark, Del., have also charged Jackson with reckless endangerment for leaving the child at the gas station.

The child is in good health and in the custody of the Division of Family Services in Delaware, Kaplan said in a statement this afternoon. She was identified as Jackson’s daughter after the child’s photograph was released to the news media, the prosecutor said.

He said the toddler lived with her mother in North Brunswick, but he would not identify the mother or the little girl.

The prosecutor’s office would not comment on the possible connection between the toddler’s kidnapping and the body of the woman found Monday morning.

But Detective Lt. Brad Weidel of the Ramapo, N.Y., Police Department said today "our investigation regarding this case has shifted and is now centering in Middlesex County, New Jersey."

In a press release Monday, Weidel said the Rockland County Medical Examiner ruled the woman’s death a homicide.

He described the woman as an African-American or dark-skinned Hispanic, approximately 18 years old. She was about 5-feet, 2-inches tall and weighed around 120 pounds. She had a tattoo on the lower portion of her back with the name, "Patricia."

The tattoo also had a stem of a flower with a rose on top. He said the victim had undergone gallbladder surgery in the month before her death.

Belizaire’s public profile on Facebook prominently displays a picture of a young daughter that is very similar to photos released by Delaware police of the girl found abandoned at the Shell station Monday.

Several friends posted comments mourning her apparent death late tonight. Belizaire lists herself as single and names her daughter as "Hannah Nia Jackson" on the web page.

James O’Neill, a spokesman for Kaplan, would not comment on whether Jackson is tied to the woman’s death.

Neighbors who lived near Jackson’s home on Weldon Road in Edison said Jackson was a security guard at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. They said he lived at the Weldon Road house with his wife and two sons, but no one saw a young girl at the house.

Star-Ledger staff writer James Queally and Ryan Hutchins of the New Jersey Local News Service contributed to this report.