A mother and her boyfriend have been charged in the death of her 5-year-old son in North Philadelphia.
Police were called to West Poplar Apartments at 637 North 13th Street shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday. Lashay Patterson, 23, told police she found her 5-year-old Dashawn Harris unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly before 1:30 a.m.
Credit: Family Photo
Investigators discovered burn marks as well as bruises on the young victim and claim he showed signs of physical abuse. Family members tell NBC10 he lived with Patterson, and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Christian Patrick. They were both taken in by police for questioning. Saturday night, police announced Patterson and Patrick were arrested and charged with murder and other related offenses.
"I'm hurt, crushed," said Francisco Harris, the boy's father. "I want to see justice in this because my son didn't deserve that. I tried to see him and they didn't let me see him. I tried to contact them and she wouldn't let me contact them."
Other family members tell NBC10 they tried repeatedly to see Dashawn as well as his younger brother but the couple repeatedly said no. Dashawn's younger brother is now staying with relatives. They believe he was also being abused.
"Not Lashay, I never would have thought she would do something like that," said the boy's grandmother Grace Fitch. "She was the sweetest person. She really was."
Police say photos of Patterson and Patrick will be released on Monday. An autopsy will be performed on the boy to determine the exact cause of death.