Camden County

Mom, Boyfriend Accused of Murdering 5-Year-Old Child in Camden

Marlena Cook and Saeed Bey face first-degree murder charges in the killing of Cook's 5-year-old child

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A New Jersey mother and her boyfriend are accused of killing her 5-year-old child in Camden earlier this week.

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday first-degree murder charges against 29-year-old Marlena Cook and 27-year-old Saeed Bey in the child's death.

Camden County police were called to South 8th Street around 3:50 p.m. Tuesday for a report of an unresponsive child. The child had "multiple, visible injuries" when the child -- who prosecutors didn't identify -- was rushed to the hospital, investigators said.

This child died from the injuries late Tuesday night, prosecutors said.

On Wednesday, the county medical examiner ruled the death was caused by blunt force trauma and ruled that the manner of death was homicide.

Cook was charged with one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree hindering apprehension, and three counts of second-degree child endangerment. Bey was charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree child endangerment.

“Words seem to fall far short when it comes to commenting on the horrible death of a child,” Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer said in a news release. “No child should ever have to suffer at the hands of a parent — parents are supposed to be the ultimate protectors."

Cook and Bey were jailed as of Thursday awaiting detention hearings. It was unclear if they had attorneys who could comment for them.

"We pledge to get justice for this child and for those who are grieving this unimaginable loss," Mayer said.

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