GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — A Manahawkin man has been charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault in the death of an almost-2-year-old Gloucester Township girl, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo said Michael Disporto, 22, of Manahawkin was charged Thursday with the murder of the child in on Sunday. She died on Tuesday at Cooper University Hospital.

Colalillo said the mother, Amber Bobo, 26, was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

"She was the most beautiful baby you'd ever meet," the child's cousin, Destiny Hughes of Barnegat, said. "She was always smiling, dancing, laughing. She went to bed with a smile, she woke up with a smile and she'd wake up in the middle of the night just to laugh. She was my whole world. She made me feel so good about myself."

Disporto was arraigned on Friday afternoon at the Camden County Hall of Justice. According to Hughes, Bobo and the girl's father were separated. Disporto is Bobo's boyfriend, Hughes said. The baby was named Ariana.

A probable cause statement filed in the case tells a troubling story of Bobo's discovery of Ariana's severe injuries to her full body, including her genital area, allegedly at Disporto's hands. And it details how, at Disporto's urgent, Bobo allegedly kept declining to get the baby medical care.

According to the statement, emergency personnel responded to a South King Street home to find the 2-year-old, only identified by authorities as A.S., had bruises on her head, and was unconscious in her mother's arms.

"She had obvious injuries to her head and face," it said.

It describes an account Bobo gave to detectives. The day before, she'd picked up the girl from her natural father, accompanied by Disporto, the statement says. That night, Disporto — who'd only been dating Bobo about two weeks — took the child to a nearby park because "he wanted to get to know her better," the statement quotes Bobo saying. They returned after just 15 minutes, it says.

Disporto then took the child to watch fireworks, but Bobo stayed back home, too tired to go out, she reportedly told detectives. They were gone for another 30 minutes, the statement says.

Bobo put the child to sleep in her bedroom, and joined her at about 11 p.m. — they always slept together because only one room had air conditioning, the statement says.

Bobo awoke at 7 a.m. to find the child no longer in bed, but sleeping on the coach — where Disporto had been — wrapped in a blue blanked, the statement recounts her saying. She went back to sleep for a while, but when she awoke again and returned, she unwrapped the child and found she was wearing a different outfit than before, the statement says.

She saw bruises on both sides of the child's forehead, but Disporto denied knowing anything about them, the statement says. He then claimed they happened when the child fell in the park, it says.

While Bobo wanted to take the child to the hospital, Disporto talked her out of it, and said they should put ice on her bruises and let her sleep, the statement says.

At 11 a.m., Bobo prepared to bathe the child, and found more bruises on her back and genital areas — bruises she'd missed when Disporto, at his own request, changed the child earlier, the statement says. She questioned Disporto again, and he convinced her not to take the child to the hospital, worried about what people would think, the statement says.

An hour later, the couple took the child to the Deptford Mall — in a hat Bobo said was to conceal the bruises — where she began vomiting, the statement says.

Two hours after that, they returned to Bobo's residence, where the child began vomiting more, the statement says. Still, the couple dressed the child, and returned to Deptford to shop more, the statement says.

It's only when they returned again that Bobo found the child, laying in the air conditioning, was vomiting more — with her eyes rolling into the back of her head, the statement says. She was completely motionless, it says.

"Bobo told Disporto she wanted to take A.S. to the hospital," the statement says. "Disporto opined that A.S. was 'just tired.' When Bobo insisted on making sure A.S. was okay, Disporto said, 'I'm never going to see you again,'" the statement reads.

She finally called 911 at 6:04 p.m., the statement says.

The child was transported to Cooper University Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a subdural hemorrhage and cerebral edema, requiring immediate brain surgery, according to the statement. She had bilateral bruising and swelling to her labia, a complete fracture of her right humerus, bilateral pulmonary contusions and urine and blood in her abdomen.

In examinations at noon and 6 p.m. the next day, she had no brain activity. Life support was cut off and she was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m., the statement says.

A later exam found her cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Hughes said Ariana's father, whom she said is named Rob, was still in shock and not doing well. Hughes would not speak about Bobo.

A GoFundMe page has been created by a man Hughes calls Ariana's step-grandfather, Paul Pearson.

"A few short days ago Rob was planning a 2nd birthday party (7/15) for his princess and now he is planning a funeral," Pearson wrote.

Colalillo said the investigation is ongoing and asks anyone with information to call her office at 856-225-8439 or Gloucester City Police at 856-456-0408.

— Dan Alexander and Louis C. Hochman

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