The father of a 14-week-old baby boy was last night being questioned by police about his death. Ryan Leslie, from New Mossley in Newtownabbey, was arrested by police last Thursday after his son, Cameron, was admitted to hospital with serious injuries.
Cameron was treated in the Antrim Area Hospital and later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children on Friday afternoon.
The baby’s mother, Sheree Black (18), was last night being comforted by relatives after Cameron lost his fight for life on Saturday evening.
Police have a total of 96 hours to quiz the baby’s 24-year-old father about the death.
A decision whether or not to charge the baby’s dad in relation to the incident is expected to be made later today.
His top-floor flat in Ballyvessey Green was last night still being searched by police.
Police confirmed yesterday they had arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the baby’s death.
Said a police spokeswoman: “Detectives have launched a murder inquiry following the death of a 14-week-old baby boy.
“The baby passed away after being admitted to hospital to be treated for a number of injuries.
“A 24-year-old man has been arrested and is currently assisting police with their inquiries.”
The murder has sent shockwaves through the close-knit community. Said one neighbour of the murdered baby: “We’re shocked and disgusted at the thought that someone could do such a thing to a tiny baby. The whole community is stunned.”
The tot’s uncle, Lee Leslie, last night paid tribute to his nephew on the Bebo website, adding: “I miss you so much Cameron and so does the family.... I am sorry to see you go on this very day. We all prayed and grieved that you wouldn’t go away. God sent you down here to fill our lives with love, but left us deeply disappointed when he took you up above.”
The baby’s funeral is expected to be held later this month.
Reverend Ian McDonald, of New Mossley Presbyterian Church, said: "I think there is a real sense in which people are just concerned about the folk involved.
"It is one of the natures of life here -- there is a closeness, sometimes the community is hard, but at a time like this there is real support and help and we've seen that in a number of ways. Certainly as a church we believe it's important to be there for everyone concerned."