BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Prosecutors say a 10-year-old boy was beaten to death by his stepfather while his hands were tied and a sock was taped in his mouth.
A Buffalo neighborhood is still reeling from the death of Abdifatah Mohamud, or Abdi, as kids on the block called him.
Neighbor Anthony Saysay said, “I couldn’t believe it. Except when I came outside and saw the cops and kind of realized something happened bad.”
It started out as a missing persons case and quickly turned to homicide when the 10-year-old boy was found dead in his basement.
Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said, “There were certain indications that the victim had been beaten, and it was certainly a disturbing scene.”
An Erie County prosecutor tells News 4 that the boy’s stepfather, 40-year-old Ali-Mohamad Mohamud, allegedly made admissions that he tied up his stepson, duct taped a sock in the child’s mouth, and beat him with a stick, reportedly to discipline the boy.
“I felt horrible, I felt so bad I didn’t get any sleep last night,” said Saysay.
One neighbor told News 4 it’s not the first time he saw cop cars at the house on Guilford Street.
He recalled, “I saw the police like twice during the year. They came, but I didn’t know exactly what happened.”
The stepfather, a Somali immigrant, was arrested at The Buffalo News, where he worked as a security guard. Vive officials say cultural differences can stand in the way of reporting abuse.
Executive director Angela Jordan Mosely said, “The situation is a lot different when they come to America. They don’t realize that there are so many agencies and resources that are there for them. We don’t want to see that type of tragedy to any other child again.”
Abdi attended International Preparatory School. Kids in the neighborhood told News 4 he was very nice and very smart. The district crisis team will be on hand at the school for any kids who need counseling.