My mother told me about this story on Friday and I looked it up on the NY Daily News website...


Psycho kid kills toddler

Say 10-year-old kidnapped, sexually assaulted boy, 3

By ELIZABETH HAYS, JOSE MARTINEZ and BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A 10-year-old New Jersey boy abducted a toddler from a library, sexually assaulted him and beat him to death with a baseball bat - a shocking attack that apparently took place in a backyard playhouse, authorities said yesterday.
Amir Beeks, 3, was found lying facedown in a drainage ditch outside the suspect's Woodbridge, N.J., home Wednesday afternoon - a half-hour after the little boy vanished from the nearby Colonia library.

Witnesses said the accused killer watched from his house as police fished the victim out of the ditch. Cops later hauled away the playhouse from the suspect's backyard, where the assault apparently took place.

Margaret Demkow, 14, who lives next door to the accused killer, said she saw the fifth-grader put his hands over his face as police performed CPR on Amir. "He went, 'Oh my gosh,'" Demkow said. "He looked shocked, but he wasn't crying."

The suspect - described by neighbors as a troublemaker - was a stranger to Amir. But he managed to lure the toddler from the library while the victim's relatives were distracted, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan.

"This is a shocking case, a tragic case," said Kaplan, who declined to release the baby-faced suspect's name.

The boy - charged yesterday with felony murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon - could be New Jersey's youngest killer, officials said. But because he is under 14, he cannot be tried as an adult. Unless a judge imposes consecutive sentences for multiple crimes, the boy faces a maximum of 20 years, if convicted.

New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, a former mayor of Woodbridge, called Amir's grieving adoptive mother, Rosalyn Singleton of Colonia, to "offer his thoughts and prayers," his spokesman said.

Woodbridge's current mayor, Frank Pelzman, said he spent Wednesday night comforting Amir's family. Yesterday, the family released a photo of the smiling boy in a wool cap sitting on his mother's lap.

"They wanted just to talk," Pelzman said. "They just wanted someone with a friendly face that they knew."

The tragedy unfolded about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, when Amir's relatives couldn't find him in the one-story library.

Around 5 p.m., cops found the boy unconscious in less than a foot of water in a drainage ditch alongside the suspect's Amherst Ave. home, two blocks from the library. They arrested the 10-year-old at the scene.

Police performed CPR on Amir before he was rushed to JFK Hospital in Edison and placed on a life-support machine. He was pronounced dead just after 11 a.m. yesterday.

Neighbors said the accused killer's mother died in 1998 from breast cancer and that his father is partially blind and reclusive.

Last night, the father came out of his house briefly to angrily confront reporters gathered outside. He refused to discuss his son and called police.

'Something wrong'

Neighbors said the suspect was sent to a school for delinquent students last fall after he threw a chair at a teacher.

"It just seemed like there was something wrong with the kid," said a neighbor, who gave her name as Mrs. Tuzzo. "He was aggressive all the time and used profanity all the time."

Last night, neighbors put teddy bears and flickering candles along a fence overlooking the drainage ditch where Amir was found.

Originally published on March 28, 2003