NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A father of a baby who police say was found dead in the East River last weekend faced a judge on Friday.
James Currie, 37, was arraigned and ordered held without bail. Police say he was charged early Friday with concealment of a human corpse.
He arrived at Kennedy Airport Thursday night after a flight from Thailand, where he was detained.
With his head down and in handcuffs, Currie was walked out of the 5th precinct with police earlier Friday morning, refusing to answer any questions, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
It’s been nearly a week since the 7-month-old baby boy was found floating in the river near the Brooklyn Bridge. The child, now identified as Mason Saldana, was spotted by tourists Sunday only wearing a diaper.
“We called 911 immediately,” Austin Campbell from Stillwater, Oklahoma said Sunday. “They told my dad not to jump in the water. It only been five minutes since we seen it so he jumped in the water, pulled the baby out. Started doing CPR on it for about five minutes and then the cops showed up and paramedics took it to the ambulance.”
But the little boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police said Currie fled to Thailand Monday, the day after his son was found. Investigators say they have Currie’s movements prior to him leaving that were captured on video.
“We have the father leaving his residence in Co-op City with what appears to be a backpack rigged as a baby carrier, pulled to the front,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said. “Covered with a complete blanket. We believe at this time the child was deceased.”
Police said they also have Currie on video near the East River.
It’s not clear how Mason died, but investigators say one day prior, on Saturday, the child was seen on video entering Currie’s apartment alive after the child’s mother gave the baby to Currie for visitation.
But when the mother learned he wasn’t at daycare on Monday, she called 911 fearing the worst.
That same day, police said Currie boarded a plane. According to police, he was stopped by Thai authorities when the plane landed.
“There will not be a good ending to this story,” said Shea. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the mother of this child during this difficult time. This is clearly something that no parent should have to live through.”
There is still no word on the child’s cause of death. Police say Currie could face more charges following the baby’s autopsy.