The father of baby Mason Saldana, the 7-month-old found tossed in the East River last weekend, has been detained in Thailand is expected to be sent back in about a week to face charges in connection with the case, officials said Wednesday.
In a briefing, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said the only charges facing the father, who he identified as James Currie, were related to concealment of a corpse, an E- felony. But, with the investigation continuing, Shea indicated additional charges could follow.
Police received help from the infant’s mother who Shea said made a “blood curdling” call to 911 to report the missing child and learned that a baby’s body had been found in the river.
The baby, whose name police released Wednesday, was at the subject of a custody order involving Currie and the Mason's mother, who investigators would not identify. The couple was not married and had no records of any legal entanglements involving the child, Shea said.
Currie, 35, who had been employed as a train car cleaner by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, attempted to fly to Thailand on Monday, a day after the baby’s body was discovered, but was denied formal entry into the country, Shea said.
Shea said the mother turned over the infant to Currie at her Bronx apartment on Saturday for a custody visit. Currie was seen on surveillance videos taking the child to his own Bronx apartment. But on Sunday, Currie was seen leaving his building with a back pack resembling a baby carrier covered with a blanket, Shea said. Investigators believe the child was already dead in the back pack at that time.
Mason’s mother became concerned when the child wasn’t brought to day care and upon hearing news reports of a dead infant in the water became distraught and called 911, Shea said.
“I don’t think anyone could listen to the call [from the mother] without their blood curdling . . . at some point the mother brings up on her own that she heard on the news about a child in the water and fears the worst and starts crying,” Shea said.