Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Custodial dad, girlfriend arrested in death of 9-year-old son (Stamford, Connecticut)

The custodial dad is identified as ABDUL DORRIS. No explanation here as to the circumstances under which the mother died.


Father, girlfriend arrested in 2010 death of 9-year-old boy

Jeff Morganteen

Updated 09:07 p.m., Monday, April 16, 2012

STAMFORD -- A 36-year-old former city resident and his girlfriend were extradited to Stamford from Nashville, Tenn., last week to face charges in the death of the man's 9-year-old son, whom authorities found dead in July 2010 under suspicious circumstances, police said.
Abdul Dorris, of Stamford, was charged last Wednesday with risk of injury to a minor. His girlfriend, Monica Parker, 31, of 145 Painter Drive, Nashville, was also charged in the incident. Both were arraigned on the same offenses last week at state Superior Court in Stamford. Dorris was held on $50,000 bail and Parker on $25,000. Both are still in custody.

According to court records, authorities found the body of Dorris' son at noon on July 22, 2010, in his studio apartment on Broad Street. The couple had placed the boy in the center of the apartment before paramedics arrived; they told responding officers that Dorris found the boy unresponsive in the bathroom tub. Dorris told police his son had a violent medical episode after he removed him from the bathroom and tried to revive him.

Officers grew skeptical, noticing the bathroom was spotless and dry, police said. They could smell a strong odor of bleach in the apartment, according to court records. Parker told police she cleaned the bathroom after calling 911 and prior to the emergency personnel arriving, or about several minutes.
Stamford police Sgt. Paul Guzda said the body showed signs that caused investigators to believe the parents waited hours before calling 911.

"Something was desperately wrong with the whole picture," Guzda said Monday.

In follow-up interviews, Parker told police the boy had a pulse and could still breathe when she called 911. Emergency personnel told police investigators he did not have a pulse when they arrived and showed early signs of decomposition, such as stiffness and discoloration.

An autopsy in August 2010 did not reveal the cause of death, which the medical examiner listed as "undetermined."

The couple left town and moved several times as police investigated the suspicious death, forcing investigators to contact a federal fugitive task force, Guzda said. Police also consulted medical and social work experts before arresting the couple, he said.

Guzda and investigator Officer Mike DiBella traveled to Nashville last month after determining Parker held a part-time job there; Dorris worked in a nearby town. They could not locate the couple during the first visit, Guzda said. The following week, Nashville authorities located and detained Dorris and Parker until Guzda and DiBella transported them back to Stamford.

During the initial investigation into his son's death in July 2010, Dorris told police he ordered the boy to take a bath that morning. Dorris left him alone for several moments and returned to find his son unresponsive and with blue lips, according to his arrest warrant affidavit.

Dorris told police his son suffered from medical problems and may have had suicidal thoughts. Dorris gained custody of his son about a year before the boy's death, according to the affidavit. Guzda said the boy had been in the foster care system in Michigan before coming to Stamford to live with his father. The boy's mother had died before his death.

Stamford police Lt. Diedrich Hohn said Parker and Dorris could face additional charges. Police found other minor injuries on the boy's body, such as bruises and a small cut, that the couple could not explain, according to court records.

Parker and Dorris are due back in court on April 27.