All charges dropped against Inkster father in death of 8-month-old girl

INKSTER, Mich (WXYZ) - All charges have been dropped against the father who had been accused in the death of his 8-month-old baby girl.

The child died from injuries inside an Inkster motel room back in April. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office determined that there was not enough evidence to proceed with the case. The child's death was determined to be an accident.

James Saltmarshall, 22, had been charged with 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in the death of Janiyah Saltmarshall. He had been released from jail on bond.

Saltmarshall called 911 to say his baby fell and hit her head. 

Saltmarshall’s mother, Aisha tells 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner she still believes her son intended to kill his daughter.

“It’s okay to suffocate your own child here in Wayne County and get away with it.,” she said.

She points to pictures of Janiaya and says the baby would not die in her son’s arms while he was asleep in bed as the case has now been ruled.

No way, Aisha says,  “because she would get out of it.  She was crawling, sitting up, crawling, vibrant and alive.”

Saltmarshall’s Defense Attorney Lillian Diallo tells 7 Action News that the baby girl was seen by doctors at Garden City Hospital and Detroit Children's Hospital and they said there was trauma that showed murder and sexual assault. 

But the Wayne County Medical Examiner found that not to be the case and in the June 16 report referenced in the Prosecutor’s statement. 

She also says the case has been dismissed without prejudice which means charged could be filed again at a later date.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office released the following information: 

After an extensive investigation and based upon the June 16, 2017 report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner, it has been determined that the cause of death of the child was asphyxia  and the manner of death was determined to be an accident. Mr. Saltmarshall and his daughter were determined to have slept adjacent to each other on an adult sized bed and upon waking Mr. Saltmarshall found the child unresponsive. Today WCPO moved to have the case was dismissed  in the best interests of justice. The motion was granted by Judge Sabrina Johnson.

The mother had been in the room but left for work, leaving the baby with James.

Police say the mother should not have been there. Zuleika Moreno lost custody of the baby and another 3-year-old girl, removed by Child Protective Services. The state offender tracking website shows Moreno is on probation for 3rd Degree Child abuse until 2021.

The baby's grandmother, Aisha Saltmarshall, says the mother lost custody of 6 of her kids and manipulated her son James Saltmarshall.

The baby had been living with James’ mother in Detroit, but was removed by CPS on April 17, according to Detroit Police.


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