'It's very sad,' says neighbor after toddler dies, allegedly at the hands of mom's boyfriend
Posted February 18, 2019 2:34 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2019 1:56 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — The man accused in the death of his girlfriend's young son appeared in court Monday afternoon, two days after the toddler passed away at the hospital from his injuries.
Charges for Michael Buchanan, 23, of the 8900 block of Wadford Lane, were upgraded over the weekend to murder after Torrance Adams, 22 months old, died at WakeMed. The child suffered a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain, according to an arrest warrant issued in the case.
Buchanan didn't say much during his court appearance. He was ordered held without bond, and he is expected to return to court on March 7.
Authorities had initially charged Buchanan with intentional child abuse causing serious bodily injury before the boy, who was called Ya Ya, died.
Buchanan took care of McCall's young children while she was at work.
The boy's mother, identified as Quise McCall, posted on social media, saying she returned home last Thursday to find her son choking and not breathing before paramedics were called to the northeast Raleigh townhome complex where the family lived.
The boy was rushed to WakeMed, where he died two days later.
Workers at the hospital called law enforcement officers after treating the boy and discovering his injuries, according to the 911 call made by health care workers.
Buchanan, his girlfriend and her three children were originally from Washington, D.C., and moved to Raleigh only within the past several weeks, according to social media posts.
During Monday's court hearing, family members of McCall and Buchanan attended the session.
"He was assaulted by someone I put my trust in," McCall posted on social media.
Neighbors created a makeshift shrine to the young boy and placed it on the family's front porch.
Some of the residents told WRAL News that they have been concerned for a while about the three children who lived in the home because screams were often heard coming from the apartment.
"I kept saying and telling them something was going on, but I didn't know what it was," neighbor Shelley Jackson said. "I'm just shocked. I just can't believe it."
"It's very sad," said neighbor Glory Iluyomade, who said she saw the kids every day.