Powellhurst-Gilbert infant death called a homicide

Find out why officials are charging the father of a 2-year-old boy, found critically injured, with murder

Portland Police Bureau officers rush to a motel, after a 9-1-1 call tells of a badly injured baby.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The call to the 9-1-1 Center by a man at the Unicorn Inn Motel, located at 3040 SE 82nd Avenue, brought out  police and medical responders at 9:30 p.m. on March 4.

When Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers pulled in to this budget lodging, they found a 2-year-old boy unconscious.

“Officers noticed suspicious injuries on the child,” explained PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

At this motel, officials say they found a baby boy, clinging to life – and “suspicious circumstances” in the room.

“One officer performed life-saving CPR until medical personnel arrived, and continued lifesaving measures until the child arrived at a Portland hospital,” Simpson added.

Based on the suspicious circumstances, detectives from the Family Services Division and the Homicide Detail were called to the scene to conduct an investigation.

“The suspect, Joshua Howard, formerly of Astoria, was in the room and called 9-1-1,” Simpson stated. “Howard is the boyfriend of the child’s mother.”

Detectives arrested Howard for Assault in the First Degree and booked him into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 6:25 a.m. the next morning.

Two days later, the baby passed away at a Portland hospital, Simpson later revealed.

This man, 28-year-old Joshua A. Howard, is now charged with Attempted Aggravated Murder, among other charges. MCDC booking photo

Additional charges were brought against the suspect, 28-year-old Joshua A. Howard, including Attempted Aggravated Murder, Attempted Murder, Assault in the First Degree, and Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree.

Howard remains incarcerated at MCDC in lieu of more than $750,000 bail.

“The Oregon State Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the child on Friday to determine the exact cause of death,” Simpson said. “The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will present the case next week to a Grand Jury, where additional charges, including Aggravated Murder, will be considered.”

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Tom Walker at (503) 823-0254, thomas.walker@portlandoregon.gov; or, Detective Mark Sponhauer at (503) 823-0416, mark.sponhauer@portlandoregon.gov.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, use the Oregon Department of Human Services’ website: CLICK HERE.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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