Police in Baltimore are searching for a partially blind man who say they beat his five-month-old son to death, possibly using his walking stick as the murder weapon.
The Baltimore Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for Perry Nelson-Johnson, 31, charging him with first- and second-degree murder and assault, three separate counts of child abuse, reckless endangerment and dangerous weapon with intent to injure.
Nelson-Johnson is blind at least in one eye stemming from an earlier injury. He remained on the lam as of Tuesday afternoon.
According to investigators, at around 4am on Friday, first responders received a call about an unconscious baby in the 1600 block of North Smallwood Street.
The infant, five-month-old Emmanuel Johnson, was rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma, where he was pronounced dead.
When interviewed by police, Nelson-Johnson claimed that his son rolled off the bed and banged his head. The 31-year-old suspect also stated that the boy appeared to be fine for a time.
However, an investigation has revealed that baby Emmanuel had both old and new injuries all over body.
‘The injuries were not consistent with a fall and the evidence at the scene,’ according to a press release from the police.
During a press conference held on Monday, police spokesman TJ Smith described what happened to the baby as an ‘absolutely disturbing and despicable, inhumane act of violence.’
He revealed that the baby had multiple abrasions and scrapes on his face, and scratches ‘almost from head to toe.’
An autopsy performed on the boy later found the cause of death to have been severe head trauma, and the case was classified as a homicide by multiple blunt force trauma to the head.
Investigators believe Nelson-Johnson used a blunt object, possibly his guide stick, to beat his son over the head. Smith said Nelson-Johnson had lost his eyesight in an earlier incident, which police were aware of, but declined to elaborate further, citing possible privacy issues.
Smith said the best thing at this time would be for Nelson-Johnson to just turn himself in to police.
Nelson-Johnson and the victim’s mother have other children who were not in their custody at the time of the incident.
The woman has not been charged with any crime as of Tuesday morning, but Smith told reporters ‘that could change.’
Police are working with Child Protective Services to determine if there had been warning signs of abuse.
Anyone with information on Nelson-Johnson’s whereabouts is being asked to call the Warrant Apprehension Task Force at (410) 637-8970.