Local News

911 caller: 'I think this baby's dead'

Posted May 16, 2008

— A 2-year-old who died Wednesday apparently was not breathing when his caretaker took him to a neighbor's house to call 911, according to the recording of the call, which was released Friday afternoon.

Raleigh police have declined to talk about the case involving the unidentified toddler and the man charged with murder in the case, DonJuan Cassadary Smith Jr., 24.

But the seven-minute recording provides new information about the case, including how the neighbor performed CPR on the child at the direction of the dispatcher and what was happening before his death

"He doesn't look like he's breathing at all, to me," the caller tells the operator.

When asked to look in the child's mouth for anything obstructing his airway, she responds, 'No sir, I think this baby's dead."

She performs CPR for more than five minutes until emergency personnel arrive at her home at the Walnut Ridge Apartments at 3320 Hewberry Lane.

Crews were dispatched to the scene shortly before 7:30 p.m. for a code-blue call, meaning the child was not breathing.

He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Meanwhile Friday, Smith, of 3320 Hewberry Lane, Apt. 104, who sources say is the child's mother's boyfriend, made his first court appearance on the murder charge. He was denied bond and a public defender was appointed for him.

Smith was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter, but after further investigation, police charged him with murder.

In the call, he says he had given the child some pizza and gave him a bath when he started throwing up.

"I figured it was the pizza," Smith tells the dispatcher. "I dressed him, and after he threw up, I went – I changed his diaper … I came back to put the diaper on him, he had defecated again."

That's when he went to his neighbor's house.

"He's just, like, not moving. He's just real weak," Smith says.


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  • faith trust and pixie dust May 16, 2008

    If he choked on the pizza, that could cause vomiting...If he neglected to get the baby help immediately after he started choking...he is immediately a baby murderer. Maybe the man was scared...it wasnt his kid, after all...he went to the neighbors house, so maybe he didnt have a phone...there is too much speculations. I had a baby out of wedlock. before me and my husband got married, GUESS WHAT, he was just my boyfriend...does that make me negligent for leaving my son with him? Not all boyfriends are murders, just like not all men are. Please guys..there is a baby that just died and all you can do is come to a conclusion of what could have possibly happened...A BABY IS DEAD...where is the concern for the babys mom, who just lost her son. SHAME ON YOU!

  • mrsvidivan2 May 16, 2008

    McLovin you are so very right. Let's just wait and see.

  • iwideopen May 16, 2008

    "crocker_mom ... Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 81% were killed by males.

    The math supports my assertions and concerns. The majority of people killing children are men."


    You have no idea what you are talking about. There is a story about a woman killing her own kid(s), as in 2 or 3, at least once a month. And further more, what about all of the abortions that are performed on a daily basis . In other words like I said, you have no idea what your talking about.

  • jannita May 16, 2008

    "The girlfriend should have been more concerned about the child than the boyfriend. Did she bother to marry the father? Another societal breakdown resulting in death."
    Cricket at the lake

    Now that is a sweeping judgment. Did it ever occur to you that maybe they were married once and the child's biological father died, and now the mother has a new boyfriend? There are many, many possibilities for a situation such as this. Before any of us make judgments and conclusions, we need to consider options and possibilities, and if there are alternatives, then perhaps we need to keep our judgments to ourselves and focus instead on how we can help.

  • FonziBeWithYou May 16, 2008

    Ya'll need to calm down. We don't even know for sure how the child died but you are all convinced the boyfriend intentionally killed him. You don't know what happened. You weren't there! Just sit back and wait for the investigation to unfold before you jump to conclusions!

  • cocker_mom May 16, 2008

    "WOW. Are you serious? There are plenty of "mothers" who kill their own children. Wasn't it only recently that women drown her three children? Don't assume the only people killing children are men."

    I was speaking about this case and others where children do die at the hands of their mother's boyfriends. I was trying to figure out why mothers don't protect their babies. And of course - if the mothers kill their children, they don't protect them either.

    Per the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

    Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1976-2005 --

    * 31% were killed by fathers
    * 29% were killed by mothers
    * 23% were killed by male acquaintances
    * 7% were killed by other relatives
    * 3% were killed by strangers

    Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 81% were killed by males.

    The math supports my assertions and concerns. The majority of people killing children are men.

  • Just the facts mam May 16, 2008

    WOW - I just listened to the 911 call - it was very impressive how professional and thorough the Dispatcher was, and also how well the woman did following suggestions, and how willing she was to try to help. Very impressive!!! I assume Dispatchers deal with similar types of calls every day - I don't know how they do it... Just another example of many heroes there are in our society - too bad only the criminals make the news...

  • garden May 16, 2008

    Where was the mother during the child's distress.

  • ThatsWhatIThought May 16, 2008

    It sounds like to me he was making up the story as he went. Sounds like he might have had internal injuries resulting from some type of hard blow. I don't know though and I'm just guessing.

    I work with this child's grandmother and this is so unfortunate.

  • dohicky May 16, 2008

    So many 'boyfriends' end up abusing and/or killing their girlfriends kids. Ashamed these women think they have to have a man and put that before the good of their kids.