County police are investigating the death of a 1-year-old Jessup boywho was found with severe burns in the hotel room he shared with hisparents and older brother.
Joseph Irving Titus was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived, county police spokesman Officer V. RichardMolloy said. He lived with his parents, Mark Charles Titus, 30, and Rosemary Renee Titus, 24, and 2-year-old brother in a room at the Parkway Motel off Route 175.
Police are calling the death suspicious and were questioning the child's parents, Molloy said, adding that it appears the baby had been put in extremely hot water.
"The child was scalded," he said. "There are red marks and blistering from the legs and the upper part ofhis body, including his face."
According to police, the Fire Department received a call for a cardiac arrest at about 9:35 a.m. When paramedics arrived, they found the child on the bathroom floor.
"There are indications that the baby had been dead for several hours," Molloy said.
Molloy said parents told investigators the two children were alone in the room and that the 2-year-old could have turned onthe water in the bathtub and Joseph fallen in.
When the parents returned to the room, Joseph was lying on the bathroom floor and was not breathing. They called paramedics, who notified police, Molloy said.
The parents were taken to Western District station for questioning, but their stories were conflicting and inconsistent, Molloy said. They were still being questioned as of late yesterday afternoon.
Relatives of the family gathered at Western District but would not comment on Joseph's death.
Residents of the hotel at the intersection of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 175 said they were shocked when they heard of the child's death.
"I can't believe it,"said Rose Siekels, who lives four doors from the Tituses. "My daughter played with the older boy."
William Wright, who owns the bar and restaurant adjacent to the hotel, called the incident a tragedy.
"I never heard them argue, and the kids seemed really disciplined," he said. "There was nothing strange about them."
He said the boy'smother worked in the hotel's office and the father worked as a maintenance man.
They had lived at the hotel for about two months.
The 2-year-old was turned over to his grandmother, who is employed as a bartender at the hotel and lives in Harmans.