YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A former Fort Lee man broke three of his infant son’s ribs and damaged his brain, causing the 10-week-old boy’s death last year, Bergen County Prosecutor John L Molinelli said this morning, officially confirming the arrest of a 32-year-old Michael Marrara Jr.
Family members at the time said that little Andrew Jeremy Marrara died of SIDS on March 26, 2012.
However, as CLIFFVIEW PILOT exclusively reported, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office arrested Marrara and charged him yesterday with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, child endangerment and hindering apprehension.
“We believed that he was involved in the child’s death — it just took a little time for our work to be completed with the Medical Examiner’s Office,” Molinelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT yesterday afternoon.
Fort Lee police responded to Marrara’s Center Avenue apartment at 7:45 a.m. March 26 on a 911 call of an infant not breathing and found the child, Marrara and his fiance, Lindsey Whitman, Molinelli said.
Officers and EMS personnel “tried in vain to save the child,” who was pronounced dead at 8:50 a.m. in the emergency room of Englewood Hospital, the prosecutor said.
Molinelli said his Homicide Squad reviewed the case, “as they are responsible for investigating all infant deaths that occur in the county.”
An autopsy also was conducted the following day by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office, he said.
“The initial findings by the medical examiner included old injuries to the baby that were in various states of healing, as well as fresh injury to the child’s brain,” Molinelli said.
“The death remained under investigation pending numerous further tests being conducted by the medical examiner and other experts to ensure the child had no underlying medical or physiological abnormalities that could have contributed to the death,” the prosecutor said.
“Ultimately the medical examiner concluded the cause of death was closed head injury and the manner of death was classified as a homicide.”
Molinelli said Marrara, while alone with the boy, “caused the injuries that led to the infant’s death.”
“It is additionally alleged that Marrara caused previous injuries to the child in the weeks prior. Those injuries included three broken ribs and various soft tissue injuries,” he said.
Marrara, a maintenance worker for the Festival Flea Market in Pompano Beach, Fla., was accompanied by his lawyer as he surrendered to detectives at the prosecutor’s office yesterday afternoon.
He posted $250,000 bail was released from the Bergen County Jail pending an initial court appearance tomorrow.
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bergen authorities have charged a former Fort Lee volunteer firefighter in the death of his 10-week-old son, who originally was believed to have died of SIDS last year, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned. READ MORE….
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.