Arrest in Camden child homicide

March 31, 2009 2:17:39 PM PDT
A man has been arrested and charged with the beating death of a 9-year-old boy in Camden, New Jersey. The boy, identified as Jamar Cruz, 9, was a fourth grade student at Molina Elementary School.

Late Tuesday afternoon the Camden County Prosecutor announced the arrest of Vincent Williams, 26.

Williams is accused of repeatedly kicking and punching Jamar Cruz at their home in Ablett Village around 7:00 a.m. on Monday.

Police say Williams did not get medical attention for Cruz despite the boy's repeated complaints about pain throughout the day Monday.

An ambulance was called to the home Tuesday morning. Cruz was taken to Cooper University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say Jamar was the child of Williams' girlfriend.

An autopsy conducted Tuesday concluded Jamar died from blunt trauma to the torso.

Williams was arrested after a police chase Tuesday morning, after Cruz was pronounced dead.

Authorities say an alert was put out for police to look for Williams around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. His car was spotted by Magnolia Police on Route 30 at Warwick Road at about 9:25 p.m.

Police say he led officers on a chase onto I-295 into Bordentown, in Burlington County. He took exit 57A onto Route 130 North, before his engine blew out about 9:43 a.m. Williams was then arrested.

Jamar Cruz lived in the Ablett Villiage home with his mother, Williams, and a younger sibling.

Neighbors told Action News there have been some domestic problems there in the past.

One neighbor says she saw the boy being taken from the house around 7:00 a.m. in a burgundy car. She then went inside to talk to the child's mother.

"She was telling me her son wasn't breathing, and last night he wasn't feeling well, and she gave him some Motrin around 7:00. Then, around 11:00, she gave him some more Motrin, then she told him to lay in the bed and go to sleep with her," said neighbor Nadine Remmie. "She woke up this morning and said he wasn't breathing."

Williams' arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.

Students at Molina Elementary were sent home with a letter Tuesday about the death of Jamar Cruz.

Counselors will be made available at the school for students in the wake of this crime.

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