New Jersey

Bruised Body of 4-Year-Old Boy Found in Submerged Storage Bin in Brooklyn Basement: Police

The little boy's mother has been arrested on murder and other charges in his death

A 26-year-old woman has been arrested in the death of her 4-year-old son, whose bruised body was found in a plastic storage bin submerged in water in their Brooklyn basement apartment, authorities say. 

Zarah Coombs was charged Thursday with murder, manslaughter and other crimes in the death of little Zamair Coombs; the boy's stepfather found his body a day earlier in their Riverdale Avenue apartment in Brownsville. 

The medical examiner's officer determined the boy died of multiple blunt impact injuries. His death was ruled a homicide.

Police say the child had bruising on his body and neck; it wasn't clear how long ago he had been beaten. Zarah Coombs allegedly admitted hitting him repeatedly with a broomstick and said she had been angry with the child.

At Coombs' arraignment Thursday night, her attorney requested a psychiatric evaluation and suicide watch. She has been placed on a mental health hold and remanded to jail.  

A source familiar with the case says another child of Zarah Coombs' had two Administration for Children's Services issues in 2014, but police were not brought in so it was not considered a criminal case. That child is now 9. 

The dead boy's uncle told NBC 4 New York ACS workers removed two other children -- aged 4 months and 2 years -- from the home Thursday afternoon. 

"We just wiped out a young kid that didn't even have a chance to live, and it's unacceptable," said the uncle, Michael Thomas. "In America it's outrageous and it's intolerable for something like this to happen." 

A neighbor said the mother didn't appear to show any remorse as she was led to a police car from the home Thursday.

"If it's your kid, you are supposed to be reacting, something is supposed to go off in your heart for your child. But I don't think it went off for her," said Ray Moore. 

Privacy laws prevent the ACS from commenting on specific cases, but the agency said it was "deeply saddened" by Zamair Coombs' death and commended the NYPD on an expedient arrest. 

A spokesperson said the office was working with the NYPD in the investigation. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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