UPDATE (Saturday Jan. 28, 2023, 10:18 a.m.): The 7-year-old boy, who had been in a coma, has died.
A New Hampshire man who is facing several charges after his 7-year-old son was reportedly beaten and burned waived his arraignment on Friday.
Murtadah Mohammad, 25, had been expected to be arraigned in Hillsborough County District Court in Manchester, but he waived his arraignment Friday morning and did not appear in court. The boy's mother identified Mohammad as his biological father.
"The hospital described his injuries as torture, mutilation and brutalization," Rainah Riley said.
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Mom Prepared for the Worst
Jaevion is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital after reportedly being burned and beaten. Riley says doctors have told her to prepare for the worst, and that if her son wakes from the coma, he'll have minimal brain function. He is being treated for skull and rib fractures, bleeding in the brain, lung injuries, severe burns and more. According to court documents, some of the injuries were caused by being immersed in scalding hot water.
Riley says she has been crying nonstop since Tuesday, when she received a call from the Manchester Police Department explaining that her son had been hospitalized.
"It is absolutely gruesome, it is horrific, and it is sickening to look at. It makes me physically ill looking at my own son because of what this man did to him," she said.
Murtadah Mohammad Arrested
Police arrested Mohammad Thursday at an apartment on Eastern Avenue in Manchester. He is charged with one count of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of falsifying physical evidence and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
According to court documents, Mohammad told first responders that he had been in the shower when his son was hurt and did not see what happened. However, first responders noted there was no evidence to suggest that someone had just taken a shower, and there were other inconsistencies in his statement. He would later tell police, according to an affidavit for arrest filed in court, that he had used force and hot water as forms of discipline.
He has been appointed a public defender.
"Detectives asked if we heard any screaming or yelling," Keith Rogers, a neighbor of Mohammad, said after being questioned by police. "There's a certain place in hell that people will rot for doing things like that."
"It looks as if it's from boiling water or oil, or just straight, just, maybe set on fire," Riley said. "His tooth was kicked out, he has blunt force trauma to the head. This man was trying to kill my child."
'The system has failed'
She told NBC10 Boston that Mohammad got joint custody of Jaevion a few months ago. She says she tried reporting signs of abuse, like bruising, to the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families.
She claims nothing was done.
"I called for wellness checks on him when he was with him, for the bruising, and nobody did anything," Riley said. "The system has failed not only my child, but so many children. And something needs to be done, because this isn't OK. It's not. Like, when is enough enough?"
Asked Friday about Riley's account, a DCYF representative said the agency is required to protect the children and family's confidentiality under both state and federal law.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Manchester police at 603-668-8711. Anonymous tips can also be called in to the Manchester Crimeline at 603-624-4040.