Camden, N.J. – The mother of a 5-year-old child and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with the child’s death, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Camden County Police Chief Gabriel Rodriguez.
Marlena Cook, 29, of Camden, has been charged with one count of first-degree Murder, one count of second-degree Aggravated Assault, three counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and one count of third-degree Hindering Apprehension. Saeed Bey, 27, of Camden, has been charged with one count of first-degree Murder and two counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Police were called to the 2500 block of S. 8th St. in Camden on May 18 around 3:50 p.m. for a report of an unresponsive 5-year-old. The child was transported to an area hospital where doctors observed the victim was suffering from multiple, visible injuries. The child died from those injuries around 11:44 p.m.
On May 19, the Camden County Medical Examiner determined the Cause of Death was Blunt Head Trauma and the Manner of Death was Homicide.
“Words seem to fall far short when it comes to commenting on the horrible death of a child,” noted Prosecutor Mayer. “No child should ever have to suffer at the hands of a parent — parents are supposed to be the ultimate protectors. My condolences go out to the child’s family and loved ones. We pledge to get justice for this child and for those who are grieving this unimaginable loss.”
Cook and Bey were arrested and transported to the Camden County Correctional Facility awaiting detention hearings.
All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.