PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - A five-year-old boy was murdered Thursday afternoon, and police say the man believed to be the child’s father is under arrest.
Parma police were called out to the home in the 4700 block of Russell Avenue around 2 p.m.
According to officers, the 31-year-old man was taken into custody at the scene.
Detectives, crime scene investigators, and the Medical Examiner’s Office were on the scene for hours, gathering evidence and taking photographs of the crime scene.
Johnathan Cherni, the uncle of the five-year-old, says he was an amazing child. He was autistic and learned to use a tablet to communicate.
Cherni also tells 19 News that the boy’s father was recently released from a behavioral health center and was off of his medication, but earlier in the day, he appeared fine, “My mom dropped him off today. He was fine; he was vibrant, completely content, and all of a sudden, we get hit with all this.”
Neighbors were devastated after hearing a child was the victim. Amanda Bohach and her 11-year-old son walked over to the home and put a stuffed animal and flowers by a tree in front of the home to pay their respects, “I’m super sad, and you know, mad all at the same time. I just realized it just sucks being this close to home and across from a school that’s right over there. The timing is also really bad -- kids were getting off the school bus.”
Bohach’s son, Ariez Gomez, said he wanted to leave the bunny and flowers to do something nice, but this was also a lesson in life for the 11-year-old who said, “This World is a messed up place.”
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner will now determine the cause of death.
The names of the victim and suspect have not been released at this time.
This is a developing story and will be updated.