Neighbors, relatives confront father of dead five-month old
The father of a 5-month old who died at Upstate of head trauma on Saturday was back at the James Street apartment house where she lived on Monday afternoon---and was confronted and threatened by relatives and neighbors.
Joseph Molina said he was there, to check on another of the children who lived there with the five month's old mother, 19 year old Wanda Trumble. She is being held on assault charges in connection with what police say was a beating death.
As he walked into the 477 James Street lobby, Molina was shouted down by Trumbles cousin, Gracie Baker, who demanded he tell the truth.
Neighbors told us they felt police got it wrong in charging the mother, that she had been out grocery shopping and the father was watching the child. He told them that he noticed the baby wasn't breathing as Wendy came home, and she told him to call 911.
Neihbor Leigha Epperson says the baby "didn't look like it had any life" as ambulance crews took her out, and that Wanda--not Joseph, as police reported, rode with Nataliah to the hospital.
Joseph said the baby died in his arms, 9 hours later on Saturday. He says the doctors told him 'when they did the MRI it was due to old and new blood (an old injury and a new one)--and neighbors shouted 'How did that injury happen again?'
Child protective had been called to the apartment before, after the baby's leg was broken, when she was 3 months old.
The cast had just come of a couple weeks ago. Neighbors told us the baby had been in the father's care then.
(Check the video for a look at part of the confrontation.
Read the story after police announced the baby's death and arrest on Saturday. )
This incident comes five years, almost to the day, since the beating death of another Syracuse baby, Imani Jennings.
That so shocked the community that the United Way set up a 'Keeping Kids Safe' task force with numbers to call to get help, 24x7. Cards, with a 'Be the Best YOU can be for your Baby' logo are still given out, with the phone numbers:
Onondaga County HelpLine 435-8300
Maternal & Child Health 435-2000
Catholic Charities 424-1800
Salvation Army 475-9744 #1
Vera House 468-3260