Man Charged With Murder In The Death Of 3-Year-Old

Last Monday, at approximately 7:50 p.m., patrol officers from the New Castle County Division of Police were dispatched to the unit block 550 S. DuPont Highway in the community of Castlebrook Apartments, New Castle for a report of an unresponsive 3-year-old male.

When the units arrived at the apartment complex, they were met by New Castle County Paramedics who reported that the child was unresponsive and had unstable vital signs.  The child was then flown by helicopter to an area hospital for treatment.

The officers learned that the child was in the care of 22-year-old Taha Hassan El-Abbadi, police said.

Detectives from the New Castle County Criminal Investigations Unit arrived at the scene and assumed the investigation.  The detectives’ investigation revealed that there was sufficient evidence to charge El-Abbadi with Child Abuse 1st degree, according to authorities.

El-Abbadi was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 11 and held at Howard Young Correctional Facility in lieu of $60,000 cash-only bail.

Yesterday, (Aug 22) detectives received notification from the hospital that the child had died.

Detectives subsequently charged El-Abbadi with Murder by Abuse or Neglect in the First Degree.  He is awaiting arraignment on this new charge.

Shortly after the boys passing, Robert Cepeda, his father reached out to First State Update to share his story.

Julian’s father told us when he got out of bed on Tuesday morning he began receiving concerning text messages. Cepeda who lives in the Dominican Republic, was learning that Julian had been taken the AI Dupont by helicopter and was badly injured.

As he messaged family and friends to find out what was happening he was told that Julian had been in an accident and that he was admitted to the hospital for a serious head injury.

Cepeda says he was told that Julian was with the mother’s boyfriend during the day on Monday when he was injured.  He added that he was told that the mother got a call around 3:00 pm from the boyfriend saying Julian had been in an accident at the shop where the boyfriend reportedly works.

After talking to his brother, Cepeda said he also spoke with Julian’s doctor over the phone and was told that Julian was suffering a head injury, possibly a fractured skull and that he bruises on his back.

Records indicate that ambulance crews from the Wilmington Manor Fire Company along with New Castle County Medics responded to the Castle Brook Apartments for an injured person that was unconscious at 7:55 pm.  Approximately fifteen minutes after crews were first dispatched to the apartments, additional crews were requested to the scene to set up a landing zone for the helicopter.

Cepeda said that the reason he contacted us was that he wanted to let the world know that Julian was a very happy child, always smiling, jumping and laughing. He was my “Little King”.  He was very excited about school, Cepeda recalled. When they last spoke Julian told his dad that he was looking forward to attending preschool this year.

Cepeda also said he wanted to make sure that the public knows the facts surrounding his son’s death.