Camden Mother, Boyfriend Charged in “Horrible Death of a Child”
The mother of a 5-year-old child and her boyfriend, both from Camden, have been charged in connection with the child’s death earlier this week.
Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer and Camden County Police Chief Gabriel Rodriguez say 29-year-old Marlena Cook has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree aggravated assault, three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of third-degree hindering apprehension.
27-year-old Saeed Bey, Cook's boyfriend, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Authorities say on Tuesday afternoon, police were called to the 2500 block of S. 8th St. in Camden for the report of an unresponsive 5-year-old. Mayer's office says, "the child was transported to an area hospital where doctors observed the victim was suffering from multiple, visible injuries."
The child died from those injuries later that night.
The next day, the Camden County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death was blunt head trauma and the manner of death was homicide.
In a press release, Mayer said, "Words seem to fall far short when it comes to commenting on the horrible death of a child. No child should ever have to suffer at the hands of a parent — parents are supposed to be the ultimate protectors. My condolences go out to the child’s family and loved ones. We pledge to get justice for this child and for those who are grieving this unimaginable loss."
Cook and Bey have both been arrested and are being held in the Camden County Correctional Facility.
All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.