UPDATE: Father charged with murder of infant son

By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email

A 24-year-old man is being charged with the murder of his infant son.

Casey Ladd appeared in a video arraignment at the Berrien County Courthouse and plead "not guilty" to charges of first degree murder and first degree child abuse.

The charges stem from a call that came into police Monday morning just after 10:30 a.m. that a baby was not breathing. Officials responded to the home at Cobblestone Village Apartments in Watervliet. They found Aiden Ladd, nearly 11-months-old, bruised and in serious condition.

The infant was rushed to the hospital and later air-lifted to Kalamazoo. The baby was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The baby's mother said she was at her parent's house when she got a call that her baby had been taken to the hospital.

"I have to bury my 11-month old son and I never get to hold him again," she said to Newscenter 16 but asked that we not identify her. "And, tell him that mommy loves him and give him a kiss goodnight."

She also said that she cannot believe that Ladd has been charged with the murder.

"He has never done anything to hurt his children...never," she said.

The Berrien County Sheriff's Department reports that there were "suspicious and unusual" circumstances surrounding the death.

"There was some trauma to the baby causing the baby's death," said Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey.

Due to the charges and past run-ins with the law, Ladd's bond was set at $1 million.

"I'm not making any judgement until i know why I can't hold my son anymore," the mother said.

An autopsy was performed on the infant Tuesday afternoon. Final results may take up to one month to be released.

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