NJ man charged with murder; 4-year-old girl’s death ruled a homicide: officials

New Jersey

Jamil Welch, 21, was arrested in connection to the death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter in Orange, NJ Dec. 30, 2021 (Essex County Prosecutor’s Office)

ORANGE, N.J. — Jamil Welch, who was arrested in connection to the death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter Jan. 3, is now being charged with murder, officials said Saturday.

The charges were upgraded Friday after the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office received autopsy results, which showed Laniyah Bloodworth died from blunt force trauma. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

First responders were called to a home in the vicinity of Wallace and Park streets in the town of Orange on Dec. 30 for a report of an unresponsive child, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Authorities took the girl, Laniyah Bloodworth, to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Welch, 21, initially charged with endangering the welfare of a child, officials said. He was babysitting the child while his girlfriend — the girl’s mother — was away.

The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877 TIPS- 4EC or 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.

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