BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police believe a young boy was beaten to death by his stepfather. As a family grieves, the community wants to know why someone so young met such an early and brutal death.
Residents in the east side neighborhood are stunned. Ten-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud was found dead in the basement of the family home on Guilford Street in Buffalo.
Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said, "There were certain indications that the victim had been beaten, and it was certainly a disturbing scene."
According to the Erie County District Attorney's Office, the suspect made admissions about binding the boy's hands, duct taping a sock in the boy's mouth and then beating him with a stick.
It began with a missing persons report. Patrol units responded to the residence, and following a search, the child, who attended Buffalo's International Preparatory School, was located in the basement.
The boy's stepfather, 40-year-old Ali Mohamad Mohamud, who's from Somalia and has been in the country for ten years, is now charged with second degree murder.
"The suspect made a statement to police indicating his involvement in the death of his stepson," indicated Richards.
Meanwhile, people who live in the neighborhood could not believe what they were hearing.
Audrey Robinson-Powell said, "I'm trying to imagine what this kid could have gotten into. Was it something in the neighborhood that set the father off that the kid's been doing? Is the father just angry?"
One woman, who spoke to news 4's Lou Raguse, says she had witnessed an incident.
"He came out, and he dragged that kid by the neck in the house. He dragged that kid in the house, and the kid was hollering," said the woman.
"They're really nice people, except for the father," said Kathy Kulbacki, who's familiar with the family. "He's pretty loud. I've seen him yell at the kids for playing in the field," she stated.
Richards says the suspect was employed by a private security company and that he was currently assigned to the Buffalo News. Richards says detectives found his car at the location and took him into custody.
"Police entered the building and were able to take Mr. Mohamud into custody rather quickly without incident," he said.
"Anytime we lose a young child in that kind of way it's a sad and tragic thing," Buffalo Mayor Byron told reporters today.
The Buffalo School District says a crisis team will be on hand at the boy's school to provide counseling until further notice.
Ali Mohamud remains in custody on the murder charge.
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