Baby Dies After Mom Allegedly Throws Him Into River

A mom accused of throwing her baby boy off an Allentown bridge 52 feet above the banks of the Lehigh River is charged with homicide.

Police made the announcement during a press conference Monday afternoon.

Zymeir Perry, 1, of Allentown, was pronounced dead at 11:51 a.m. Saturday at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Cedar Crest.

Witnesses told police Zymeir's 19-year-old mother, identified as Johnesha Perry, was pushing the baby across the Hamilton Street Bridge in a stroller around 1:45 p.m. on May 3 when she stopped mid-span, took the child from the carriage, placed him on the railing, kissed him and then pushed him into the water, investigators said.

She then climbed over the railing and jumped in after him, officials said.

Neighbors said Perry often made the trip across the river but she never did anything like that before.

Police arrived moments later. They found Perry conscious on the river bank, according to reports.

In 911 calls obtained by NBC10, dispatchers can be heard giving locations on the mother and child.

"Be advised... they have recovered the child.

Two officers — identified as Joseph Iannetta and John Leonard — spotted the baby about 700 yards downstream, pulled him from the river and performed CPR.

The boy was rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. He remained in critical condition for several days until he was declared medically brain dead on Saturday and all life support was stopped. An autopsy revealed he died from blunt force trauma and drowning.

Perry was also rushed to the same hospital with minor injuries. She was guarded by Lehigh County Sheriffs, police confirmed. She was later released from the hospital and taken into custody. While being interviewed by investigators, Perry allegedly admitted that she intended to kill her son.

Perry was initially charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. On Monday police announced she was charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child in light of her son's death. She remains in jail and will be arraigned through central booking Tuesday morning.

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