Father charged in death of baby found in trash bin

October 10, 1994|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,Sun Staff Writer Staff Writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

The father of 7-week old Dorian Anthony Russell, the baby found stuffed inside a trash bin near his Cockeysville home last night, has been charged with first-degree murder in the child's death, Baltimore County police said.

Charged at 3 a.m. today after a lengthy interview with homicide detectives and an intensive investigation was Michael Donnell Russell, 27, of the 100 block of Breezy Tree Court in the Reflection Knoll Apartments off East Padonia Road.

The infant's mother, Yolanda Russell, 24, of the same address, also was interviewed by police for several hours but was released from custody without being charged.

From the Cockeysville precinct, the husband was taken before a Towson District Court commissioner around 5 a.m. today and ordered held without bail pending a bail review hearing before a District Court judge.

A preliminary examination of the baby by Dr. Stanley Felsenberg, a deputy medical examiner, indicated the child suffered blunt trauma to the head. Police refused to be more specific, adding that an autopsy was set for today at the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore.

Police said the child may have died sometime between 6 a.m. yesterday, when the parents said the child awoke and then went back to sleep after being given a bottle, and 2 p.m. yesterday, when they said they discovered him missing when they awoke.

Outside their apartment, the couple told police, they found their 2-year-old son wandering in the hallway.

A search for the infant ended at 7 p.m. when a K-9 officer searching the trash bin a block from the couple's apartment found the infant's body stuffed in a diaper bag.

The Russells reportedly had a violent argument after 3 a.m., police said, adding that officers had responded to several domestic disturbances at the home recently. Mr. Russell was arrested and charged with spousal abuse as recently as August, police said.

"Almost every day they have a fight," said Fatima Tenaflor, echoing other neighbors. "We heard them fighting yesterday and early this morning. It's the guy, usually he's the one yelling. Yesterday, he was yelling at her, 'Look at the baby, he's crying again!' "

Medical examiners searched for evidence in the bottom of the trash bin on a darkened side street in the apartment complex. Shortly before 11 p.m., they wrapped the tiny body in a blanket and left the scene.

Police said the couple's 2-year-old son and their 4-year-old daughter were in the care of relatives last night.

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