BUFFALO, N.Y. April 19 2012 — A security guard at a Buffalo newspaper was charged in the apparent beating death of his 10-year-old stepson, who was found in the family’s basement when police responded to a call about a missing child, authorities said Wednesday.
“There were certain indications the victim had been beaten,” Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said, “certainly a disturbing scene.”
Ali-Mohamad Mohamud, 40, was charged with second-degree murder after being interviewed by investigators. Abdifatah Mohamud’s body was discovered late Tuesday.
His stepfather “made a statement to police indicating his involvement in the death of his stepson,” Richards said.
Mohamud, a Somali immigrant who has been in the country about 10 years, pleaded not guilty in City Court on Wednesday and was ordered held pending a felony hearing scheduled for Monday, said attorney Kevin Spitler, who was assigned by the court to represent him. He did not know Mohamud’s immigration status.
Mohamud was not at the single-family home when officers arrived about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday in response to the missing child report, Richards said. The report was called in by another family member, who was at the home when police arrived, he said. He declined to identify that person.
The stepfather was arrested within an hour at The Buffalo News, where he worked as a guard for a company that provides building security. Richards said he was not armed at the time of his arrest and described him as cooperative.
The victim was a student at International Preparatory School.
Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon said the district’s crisis team would be available to provide counseling for students, parents and staff at the school.
“As a school community, we will do all that we can to comfort those students and staff who are most affected by this tragic end to a young life,” Dixon said.