Prosecutor: Stamford dad killed 2-year-old son, buried him in Cummings Park

A 2-year-old Stamford boy, whose body was discovered buried in a local park Monday, died from multiple blunt force injuries to his head, according to Stamford police.

Marissa Alter

Jan 3, 2023, 12:22 PM

Updated 528 days ago

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A 2-year-old Stamford boy, whose body was discovered buried in a local park Monday, died from multiple blunt force injuries to his head, according to Stamford police.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Chief Tim Shaw said Liam Rivera’s death has been ruled a homicide with Liam’s father, who previously served time for abusing the child, the chief suspect. Edgar Ismalej-Gomez, 26, of Stamford, was taken into custody overnight on an outstanding warrant after a brief manhunt. He was arrested on West Main Street in a taxi after someone contacted police about a person matching his description.
“While this investigation is fluid and we may not be able to share many details, we wanted to let the community know that we are confident that there is no ongoing threat to our community,” Shaw stated.
Ismalej-Gomez was arraigned in Stamford Superior Court on a violation of probation charge, but Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Manning outlined the allegations behind additional charges expected to be forthcoming.
“About a week ago, the defendant is alleged to have gone into the child’s room, and the child ended up deceased. The defendant would not let the mother of the child call for an ambulance. He placed the child in a bag and buried the child at Cummings Park. That grave was found yesterday,” Manning said.
She told the court Liam's mother said Ismalej-Gomez held her captive for the past four days, armed with a gun, and took her to West Virginia and back.
“She was able to leave yesterday, purchase a phone, and call her attorney, who facilitated the police involvement,” Manning told the judge.
Ismalej-Gomez was arrested in 2021 for allegedly breaking his son’s arm. He pleaded guilty in April to risk of injury and third-degree assault and received a five-year sentence that was suspended after 60 days in jail, followed by three years of probation. His release included several conditions including that he obey a standing criminal protective order barring him from any contact with his son. Manning said it appears he’d been living with the child and the child’s mother for the past few weeks.
But that wasn’t Ismalej-Gomez’s only alleged violation of probation. According to court documents, Ismalej-Gomez gave probation officials a fake address and a non-working phone number. He also allegedly failed to attend court-mandated parenting classes and stopped reporting to probation. A warrant for his arrest was signed in August, but Manning said Ismalej-Gomez had fled. The bail commissioner told the judge there was an immigration detainer on him.
“No one really had any idea where he was until yesterday,” Manning told the court. “It’s apparent to the state that he’s a danger to the community as well as a flight risk.” She said he was headed to Portchester, New York, at the time of his capture.
Manning asked for a minimum bond of $1 million. Judge Kevin Randolph set bond at $3 million. Ismalej-Gomez is due back in court on this charge on Feb. 8.
Meanwhile, police said their homicide investigation is in the early stages but will continue to be "all hands-on deck" as investigators work with the State's Attorney's Office regarding future charges. Shaw commended his officers on their hard work and dedication, noting this case has deeply affected the entire department.
“We know there are days that are tougher than others, but what the officers saw yesterday is not something they signed up for,” Shaw said. He thanked them for their dedication and hard work, noting the trauma that comes with this case.
“They were relentless yesterday, and they went above and beyond because no one should witness what they did yesterday. Nobody,” Shaw said. He personally recognized those officers who were instrumental to Ismalej-Gomez’s quick capture and noted the dozens of officers who packed the news conference to show support for their brother and sister officers.
“They are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. They should be proud of all the effort they put into this investigation up to now,” Shaw said.
Police would not comment on if Liam’s mother will face charges. In court, Manning said the woman does have a pending case related to Ismalej-Gomez. In January 2022, he was arrested for allegedly taking the child from her, but the charges were later dropped after the woman recanted.


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