A 22-year-old man sobbed in court and begged to speak to his mother right before being charged with the murder and sexual assault of his 8-month-old daughter.
James Saltmarshall broke down as he begged to talk to his mom.
“Wait, wait, this never happened,” he said. “Wait, wait a minute. Can I call my mom, can I please call my mom.”
The young man’s mother, Aisha Saltmarshall, said she warned police and case workers about allowing the baby to be in her son’s care. The warnings went unnoticed and in the end, she said, the system failed her granddaughter Janiyah.
Saltmarshall said she was caring for her granddaughter but that her son and his girlfriend tried to take her back just days before the murder.
“I’m telling you the baby is going to be in harm’s way,” she told WJBK that she said to police. “Why do you insist on giving her (back) – I don’t care if they do have custody papers or whatever any questions you may have, of course they will lie and tell you just the opposite.”
Fearing for her granddaughter’s safety – mostly due to the fact that the baby’s mother previously had other children taken away from her – Saltmarshall called every child protection agency in the county to try and warn them that the baby wasn’t safe.
Police were called to a motel on the night of the murder after James Saltmarshall claimed that his baby stopped breathing. She was rushed to the hospital, where she died of injuries that included trauma to the head.
In court, police told the judge what Saltmarshall’s son claimed happened on the night the girl was found.
“Saltmarshall denied initially that Janiyah had fallen. He said he attempted to pick her up and shook her in an attempt to wake her,” Lt. Jeffrey Smith said. “As the interview progressed, (Saltmarshall) said Janiyah initially slipped off the bed on the floor, and struck her head. Throughout the interview, Saltmarshall denied any responsibility in touching and damage to the anus.”
Though Aisha Saltmarshall said her son should rightfully pay for what he did to his daughter, she added that more people were responsible than just the parents.
“I just wanted her safe,” she said. “I didn’t need custody of her; she just needed to be in a safe environment. The environment she was in wasn’t a safe environment. DPD, CPS, DHS all failed. I think they need to be held accountable for this.”
Many readers agreed, saying that Child Protective Services should be held responsible for ignoring the grandmother’s warnings.
“Another case where CPS ignored the pleas of those in the know and returned an innocent child to an animal and the child died a horrific death because of it! The man’s mother apparently knew what her disgusting son was capable of, but authorities would not listen and that beautiful baby paid with her life! Something needs to be done about the policies of CPS that results in children being left with incompetent abusive caregivers! This sort of thing has happened way too often!” one Mad World News reader commented on the site’s Facebook page.
“He kills his daughter and wants to call mommy . To d*** bad . He will Rot in hell and when inmates find out what he did , there will be justice again for that innocent baby,” another added.
Sources: WJBK, Mad World News/Facebook / Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo via Wikimedia Commons, WJBK