NBC10 - Deanna Durante
Upper Darby Township Superintendent Michael Chitwood says he believes Ummad Rushdi killed the baby and tortured the 7-month-old for the three months leading up to it. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports with the latest.
Police fear a 7-month-old baby boy is dead after he was kidnapped from an Upper Darby home by the mother's boyfriend who has a history of making threats.
The kidnapping suspect, Ummad Rushdi, dated the child's mother for less than a month. He is accused of taking the infant, Hamza Ali, from Upper Darby to central Pennsylvania, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood at a Wednesday morning news conference.
"We don't know where Hamza is, we hope Hamza is alive but right now we don't believe that Hamza is alive," said Chitwood.
Police got a call from the infant's mother Tuesday night and she reported that she, Rushdi and the child had been visiting Rushdi's parents in Upper Darby over the weekend, Chitwood said.
She said Rushdi took the baby early Sunday morning and that she believed he was heading back to York, Pa. where they both live.
"We believe Rushdi then buried the child somewhere up there and we are trying to find that child," said Chitwood.
Police in central Pa, with the help of the FBI, searched for the child with a cadaver dog off Route 30 in Columbia, Lancaster County, where Rushdi's car was found abandoned.
Chitwood said Rushdi's brother told police he believed that Rushdi killed the child and buried him in a field in that area.
Rushdi, 30, was arrested around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at 979 Castle Pond Drive in York, the home where he lived with the mother and baby.
Investigators say at the time of arrest, Rushdi had a knife, handcuffs and $800 in cash. He also had a criminal record including serving probabtion in Philadelphia after being found guilty last year of making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct, according to court records.
He also was found guilty of disorderly conduct and defiant trespass for a 2011 incident in York County, according to court records.
Rushdi is charged with kidnapping, recklessly endangering another person, among other charges.
NBC10 was there as Rushdi arrived at the Upper Darby Police station. He said nothing as he walked by reporters. His family at his home however screamed at reporters asking for comment.
Rushdi faces charges that include kidnapping. He was arraigned late Wednesday and sent to county jail unable to post $750,000 bail, according to court records.
"Right now, we are looking for the child. Our hope is that the child is alive, but the reality of the investigation thus far, which is very, very preliminary and I can't emphasis that enough, that baby is probably dead," said Chitwood.
The search for Ali will resume Thursday.