Divers search for missing baby boy in York County

Ummad Rushdi and Hamza Ali
August 29, 2013 4:55:43 AM PDT
A Delaware County dive team will be back in York County today to continue their search for the body of a kidnapped baby.

He is presumed dead, and his suspected killer has just been charged with murder.

7-month-old Hamza Ali was reported missing more than three weeks ago, and police have been looking for him since. Six divers from the city of Chester have been dispatched and are searching waterways in York County for his remains.

Chester Police Department Commissioner Joseph Bail explains, "This is extraordinary for our guys to leave and go that far, and you know, be put up by the police department to stay overnight to keep the search going. But they will assist other municipalities."

Upper Darby Police say the mother's boyfriend, 30-year-old Ummad Rushdi, and the baby disappeared on August 4th during a visit to his parents in Upper Darby. Police say Rushdi confessed to shaking the baby to death. Police believe he disposed of Hamza's body somewhere near his home in York, but Rushdi refused to say exactly where.

"They've done some extensive work, and have worked with some cadaver dogs, and with this they felt there was some areas to further check," said Bail.

Rushdi's home has been searched along with a park in Lancaster County where Rushdi ditched his brother's car. A bloodhound found a pillowcase from Rushdi's home in a wooded area near the Susquehanna River. A cadaver dog indicated a corpse had been there, but they haven't found the boy's body. So, the search continues in the water.

Detailing the difficulty of the search, Commissioner Bail tells us, "[The dive crews] had checked 50-percent of the areas... very strong current. And basically they were doing black water diving anywhere from two feet to ten feet of water."

Bail says the divers will stay in York County as long as State Police and Upper Darby Police need them there.


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