JESSUP, Md. (WJZ) — A man was found dead inside a Howard County home. His 5-year-old son was alive and by his side.
Weijia Jiang explains police are figuring out why the victim was in a home that was not his and how he died.
Inside a Jessup house, family members made a gruesome discovery: a stranger, dead in a basement closet, alongside his 5-year-old son, who was still alive.
“He started talking immediately. First thing, he said he wanted something to drink. His hands were contorted like he was holding something. He kept saying, `My Daddy’s dead, my Daddy’s dead,’” said Barbara Wise, the homeowner’s daughter-in-law.
Police identify the victim as Najib Abdullah, 26. They say he was on the run from authorities last week when he likely broke into the home to get away. It’s located less than a mile from his own house.
“He assaulted the family member, then left the home with the child. He was charged in a warrant for assault. We were actively looking for him,” said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County Police.
Wise believes Abdullah had been in the house since last Tuesday, when she noticed a broken back window. Police officers responded, but did not find Abdullah and his son, who were hiding inside a closet. Wise says her father-in-law owned the house, but passed away two weeks ago.
“My son and my husband went downstairs because the smell was so awful and we wanted to know if a dead animal had crawled in the house. If they hadn’t gone down there, the little boy could have died as well, all those days without food and water,” Wise said.
As for Abdullah, police say there were no signs of trauma but they found drugs on his body. They’re waiting for toxicology reports to determine a cause of death.
Police say the little boy was taken to the hospital for a check-up. Now he’s staying with his mother and is in good health.
Court records reveal Abdullah has a long criminal past. Police are investigating if it had anything to do with his death.