Baby Dies of Starvation at Philadelphia Shelter

By David Chang and Dan Stamm
|  Friday, Dec 31, 2010  |  Updated 8:03 AM EDT
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<a title=Philadelphia Police were trying to find out who was responsible after two-month-old Quasir Alexander was found starving and near death in a West Philadelphia shelter. He would later die." />

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Claudia Rivero

Philadelphia Police were trying to find out who was responsible after two-month-old Quasir Alexander was found starving and near death in a West Philadelphia shelter. He would later die.

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Infant Dies of Starvation at Philly Shelter

An infant starves to death at the Traveler's Aid Shelter. Police are investigating.
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The starvation death of a two-month-old baby at a shelter earlier this month was ruled a homicide Thursday.

On Dec. 23, emergency crews were called to the Traveler's Aid Family Services on the 100 block of North 49th Street in West Philly around 5:40 a.m. They found Quasir Alexander unresponsive. He appeared malnourished, according to police. The infant died about 20 minutes later from starvation and dehydration, according to authorities.

Quasir was staying at the shelter with his mother, Tonya Williams, and five other siblings including Quasir's twin who was also malnourished, according to authorities.

"Homicide is looking into it to find out what took place, who's responsible. Obviously we're looking at the parents but we're also looking to see if anyone else who's associated with this particular case."

"The death of any child is tragic," said Ted Weerts, the shelter's executive director. "A case of this kind, of course there's going to be a very intense investigation and we're fully cooperating with them."

The shelter can house 75 families, Weerts said. Food and clothing is available for everyone, he said.  Weerts also pointed out that the shelter is in not a medical facility. "Any incidents or any suspicion of any abuse, we would bring in DHS. Any child that looks like they're hurt or injured, we make sure that 911 is called."

Williams' five kids were placed in DHS custody while Quasir's death is investigated.


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