Relatives said a Bronx, New York, mother with a history of drug addiction and mental illness had her three other children taken away before she allegedly killed her 5-month-old son by throwing him into a wall.
The New York Daily News reported that officers discovered Raymond Porfil’s lifeless body in his crib on June 4. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that his mother, Joann McLeod, 30, was arrested and charged with his murder. A criminal court complaint obtained by the newspaper alleged that McLeod had admitted to throwing Porfil into a wall and delayed getting him help because she was “afraid of going to jail.”
Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that the infant suffered “extreme abuse and neglect” in addition to head injuries he sustained when McLeod hurled him into a wall.
Loriano Porfil, the slain baby’s uncle, told the Post that his brother and McLeod had recently been estranged. He also claimed McLeod had struggled with mental illness while his brother, the infant’s father, was battling drug addiction.
“[She] didn’t have to do that—we were always there for them,” the uncle said. “She was the one that didn’t let us see the baby that much.”
Alarmingly, the child’s aunt, Estella Walker, 43, claimed McLeod had told neighbors following her son’s death that she forced a sock into his mouth, which she taped closed before falling asleep.
Meanwhile, the baby’s father, Raymond Porfil Sr., 49, described McLeod as “bad mother” who was bipolar, constantly smoking K2, and would spank their son when he would cry.
The father also said he’s currently undergoing treatment for a heroin addiction and had to “walk away” from his relationship with McLeod.
“If I wasn’t there, she would hit him. He had a black eye and a bruised mouth,” he told the Daily News from a treatment facility. “I wanted to hit her, but I didn’t want to go to jail. I don’t hit women.”
Prosecutors revealed in court that the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) had come to the home in late May, marking the only time the baby received medical attention. The agency had previously taken away McLeod’s other children, ages 13, 11, and 8, according to the victim’s aunt.
In light of the baby’s death, ACS has reportedly taken the victim’s toddler sister out of the home and placed her in her aunt’s care.
The Bronx mother was remanded to jail and was reportedly placed on suicide watch.
[Featured image: Raymond Porfil/WNBC video screengrab]