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Father of baby found in East River arrested in NYC, NYPD says

James Currie is expected to be brought back to the city within a week, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

The father of a baby who was found

The father of a baby who was found in the East River on Sunday was arraigned on Friday, prosecutors said. Above, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea leads a briefing on case on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

The father of a 7-month-old boy found in the East River last weekend was taken into custody in New York City after beind held in Thailand, the NYPD said early Friday. 

James Currie, of the Bronx, traveled to New York Thursday night and was arrested at 1 a.m. Friday and charged with concealment of a human corpse — a Class E felony. Additional charges are possible depending on the outcome of the medical examiner's investigation, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

Currie, 37, is believed to be the last person to see his son alive after he picked the child up from the mother's home on Saturday, Shea said. Pedestrians had spotted the baby floating in the East River near the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday around 4:05 p.m., according to police. 

The infant, identified as Mason Saldana, was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, but he did not survive, police said. Investigators believe Mason was dead before Currie left his Co-op City home with the child inside a makeshift carrier on Sunday afternoon, according to Shea.

A cause of death is still being determined by the city medical examiner's office. "Additional testing is necessary," Shea added.

Currie boarded a flight to Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, Shea said, but he was stopped by authorities before entering the country. 

Currie and the child's mother are not married, and it appears that Mason was given to him as part of a court-stipulated visitation, Shea said.

"This is clearly something that no parent should have to go through," he added.

The mother, who was not identified by police, called 911 on Monday to report that Currie had not dropped off Mason at day care earlier in the day.

"I don’t think anyone could listen to the call without their blood curdling," Shea said. "At some point during that call, 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."

Investigators believe Mason died in Currie's home sometime between Saturday and Sunday. Currie was captured on video entering his home with the child still alive on Saturday around 12:50 p.m., according to Shea. 

On Sunday, around 1:30 p.m., Currie was seen on video leaving his home with a backpack that was rigged like a front-facing baby carrier with a blanket draped over it, Shea said.

"We believe that the child was deceased in that 24-hour period and he took him out of the residence," he added.

Currie was seen again on video around 3:10 p.m. walking between the South Street Seaport and the heliport, heading toward the East River with the makeshift carrier still on, according to Shea. Mason was found in the water about an hour later.

A backpack that was seen floating near the baby was also recovered. Police are looking into whether it's the same makeshift baby carrier Currie was seen using in several videos, Shea said.

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