NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are new details about a man police say killed a 10-year-old boy in Harlem over the weekend.
Some experts are worried that the coronavirus pandemic is making it harder for victims of child abuse to get help, CBS2’s Nick Caloway reported Monday.READ MORE: CDC Reverses Course, Recommends People Wear Masks Indoors Where COVID Rates Are High
A suspect is in police custody, but the investigation is ongoing. The apartment where 10-year-old Ayden Wolfe’s body was found is still a crime scene.
Meanwhile, neighbors and local members of the clergy are raising money to pay for the boy’s funeral. They say Ayden deserves to rest in peace, after living through so much pain.
Neighbors lit candles, and left mementos outside the St. Nicholas Houses apartment building on West 131st Street in Harlem. They said they remember seeing Ayden with his mother in the hallway.
“I noticed them because the little boy was always very quiet. Most children are moving, you know, they’re active. But he was always very quiet, didn’t make any noise,” Judynell J. Groce said.
The boyfriend of Ayden’s mother has been charged with killing the boy. Ryan Cato, 34, is charged with murder and endangering the welfare of a child.
He has three prior arrests, the most recent a domestic violence incident involving a different woman this past December.READ MORE: Drivers Turn Highways Into Personal Parking Lots While Waiting To Pick Up Passengers From Tri-State Area Airports
Ayden’s body was discovered in the family’s apartment, bloodied and bruised. He had rib fractures and multiple internal injuries.
“At the hospital, investigators were informed that the victim’s demise was caused by fatal child abuse syndrome,” NYPD Acting Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said, adding some of the injuries were new and some were old.
“And when you see and hear about bruises in different stages of healing, it means the abuse was prolonged and ongoing,” said Dr. Mary Pulido of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Pulido added prolonged abuse like that would normally be noticed and reported by a teacher or doctor. However, the pandemic has meant less face-to-face interaction with those who might help.
“We’re in remote world now with the pandemic. If he was remote learning, it’s very difficult for teachers to spot bruising, necessarily, if he was online,” Pulido said.
Sources told CBS2 police are still working to determine if the mother knew of the abuse.
So far, she has not been charged with a crime.MORE NEWS: Taxi Driver Scared To Return To Work After Almost Being Struck By Bullet While Driving On Queens Highway
CBS2’s Nick Caloway and Alice Gainer contributed to this report