Local News

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

Posted May 16, 2008 3:42 p.m. EDT
Updated May 16, 2008 6:01 p.m. EDT

— 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.