The mother of a newborn boy found dead with severe head trauma in an apartment building courtyard in Queens was charged Saturday with murdering the infant by tossing him from a fourth-floor window.
Rashida Chowdhury, 21, was charged with second-degree murder and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
"This is is a truly horrific and disturbing case of a mother accused of killing her helpless 3-week-old infant son by tossing him out of a window, where he fell more than 40 feet to the pavement and died," Brown said.
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The body of 1-month-old Rizwan Ahmad was discovered outside the building on 115th Street in Richmond Hill Friday morning. Police had been investigating whether the baby had fallen, was thrown out of a window or was left on the ground.
The medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide and noted that the infant had sustained skull fractures and lacerations of brain, liver and spleen.
Neighbor Mazol Ilyayeva had found the baby and called 911.
"I step out and hear [a sound] like a book was thrown out the window," she told NBC 4 New York. "For some reason, something told me inside to go downstairs, and then I see that."
Police took several family members in for questioning. Other children are living in the home where the baby lived, authorities said, but they're not believed to be siblings. It's thought to be an extended-living situation, city officials told NBC 4 New York.
Neighbors said the family living in the apartment is quiet and rarely talked to others.
"It was very, very hard for us this morning. Terrible. It's hard to believe, a baby that little," said one woman who only gave her name as Eve.
There was no information as to whether Chowdhury had a lawyer who could comment on the charge.