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Boy, 4, Is Found Dead and Badly Bruised in his CH Home

The New York Times

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — A 4-year-old boy, his body severely bruised, was found dead Friday afternoon at his family’s apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and the police were investigating the possibility that he had been fatally beaten, the authorities said.

The boy, identified as Jayden Lenescar, was found unconscious by his mother just before 2:30 p.m. in the living room of their apartment on Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue, law enforcement officials said. Police officers and paramedics arrived minutes later and frantically worked to resuscitate the boy as they carried him from the building on a stretcher, his mother following steps behind and wailing, “Lord, no, don’t let my baby die!” according to a neighbor, Anna Gilliam, 49.

Jayden, in cardiac arrest, was taken by ambulance to Kings County Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 2:50 pm.

The precise cause of death had not been determined Friday night, but police officials said that the child had significant bruising on his body and that the death was being “viewed as suspicious.”

Detectives spoke with the boy’s mother at the station house Friday evening. A law enforcement official said detectives do not believe that the boy’s father was involved.

An official at the city’s Administration for Children’s Services said the agency was investigating the death.

Residents of the apartment building described the family as quiet and said they had never seen any sign that Jayden could be in danger.

“They were nice people,” Ms. Gilliam said. “I never heard anything bad about them.”

She added, “I said a prayer.”

Martine Lenescar, 26, a home health attendant and sister of Jayden’s father, Mackenzie Lenescar, said Jayden had always been a happy child.

“He was healthy,” she said. “I saw him two weeks ago and he was fine, he was very happy. He was calling me, ‘Auntie, Auntie,’ ” and asking for his favorite snack, chicken wings, she said.

Ms. Lenescar said she had never seen any bruises on Jayden.

Another aunt, Marie Helesca, said: “He was a really good boy. Him and my son were like best friends. I don’t know how I’m going to tell my son that.”

Asked about the suspicions surrounding Jayden’s death, she said, “His mom didn’t beat him.”

Ms. Helesca, 29, another sister of Mr. Lenescar’s, said Jayden lived with his mother, Mayni, and grandmother on Eastern Parkway during the week and stayed with his father and other relatives around the corner on President Street on weekends. She said her brother and Jayden’s mother had a healthy relationship.

Another relative, Karl Henry, 25, said he was shocked by reports of bruises on Jayden’s body, saying there had been no sign of mistreatment. ”We’re not a family that mistreats our kids,” he said.

As night fell, Jayden’s paternal grandmother arrived at the Eastern Parkway building from the hospital and was overcome with grief. Low moans built to sobs as she approached the building, which was cordoned off with crime scene tape.

Reaching the door, she became hysterical, and crying out in Haitian Creole, collapsed to the ground. Neighbors struggled to lift her up, but she went limp again.

“Lord, why?” she said. “No, no, my baby.”


  • 1. Knows too well wrote:

    Bruises are an indication of a number of ailments that if not treated can be life threatining. There are usually other symptoms too but believe it or not doctors occaisionaly miss the underlying disease with unfortunate consequences.

  • 2. What the...?? wrote:

    WHAT CONNECTON DOES THIS HAVE TO US!!!??? what the hell is wrong with u people.

  • 3. The Police wrote:

    This child was your neighbor. So what if he is not Jewish. Shouldn’t you feel some sympathy for his suffering and the anguish of his family? And you wonder why there is antisemitism?

  • 4. Hashems creation wrote:

    to what the..?
    How insensitive can a human being be??? A child has lost its life the loved ones are in pain and you want to know what connection it had to us?? Who is US??? If you have no feelings for another human being keep it to yourself get of the internet and go see a phycologist because you are a danger to society!! Good Grief!!

  • 5. to THE POLICE!! wrote:

    yea right ‘THE POLICE’ you have a good point but ha ha youre funny!!!! but what does this have to do with anti semitism???

  • 6. weird wrote:

    Who was watching the child at the time?
    Who would leave the child unattended, he was only 4 yrs of age?
    It only mentioned the fact that they came home and found him unconcious?

    This whole story sounds a little off and suspicious!!

    Im sorry there is a loss of a young child involved!!1

  • 7. The Guy With the Dog wrote:

    I think that, unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, you need to give the parents the benefit of the doubt. How many people can honestly say that they’ve NEVER left their child unattended for the first four years of their life? Especially when the child is asleep.


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