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8-Month-Old Bronx Baby's Death Ruled a Homicide Nearly a Year Later: NYPD

By  Trevor Kapp Kathleen Culliton and Eddie Small | October 14, 2016 10:05am | Updated on October 14, 2016 1:40pm

 The death of 8-month-old Mason Simms from last October has been ruled a homicide, police said.
Mason Simms
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THE BRONX — The death of an 8-month-old baby found inside a Claremont Village apartment has been ruled a homicide — almost a year after he died, police said.

Mason Simms was discovered by his mother unresponsive inside a second-floor apartment at 635 Jefferson Place, near Bishop J. Arthur Jones Place, on Oct. 24, 2015, the NYPD said.

Mason was living with his mother, Shavon Simms, 32, who called 911, police sources said. He was taken to Bronx Lebanon Hospital but couldn’t be saved.

There was no apparent trauma to his body at the time, the NYPD said.

Simms said she had gone out with her mother for about four hours and left the baby with an ex-boyfriend on the day of his death, and when she returned, Mason was unconscious in his crib.

"I ran out my apartment panicking," she said.

The baby was having seizures, and Simms took him down to her aunt's apartment on the first floor, where they called 911 and tried to perform CPR on him until the ambulance arrived, according to Simms and police.

Her 67-year-old aunt Betty Williams said she was waiting for "Jeopardy!" to come on when Simms started banging on her door with Mason.

"I tried to get him to breathe, but I couldn't do it," Williams said.

Simms stressed that she was still struggling with the death of Mason and does not think it will ever stop hurting.

"I'm still in shock, and I'll never get over it," she said. "I can't even face baby boys without crying."

She said her ex-boyfriend complained that she loved Mason and her 8-year-old son more than him and that her 8-year-old once saw him throw Mason against the wall.

"He said he was mean. He was scared of him," Simms said.

She remembered Mason as a happy child who was always laughing and said she went through 10 miscarriages to have him.

The last time she saw him alive was on the morning of the day he died, when she fed him applesauce for breakfast, she said.

"He was a little cranky, groggy because he was teething," she said.

Simms' friend Letefeya Mighty agreed that Mason was a happy child and seemed to already be fond of Disney at a very young age.

"He was always laughing," she said. "That was his thing, especially when he saw Mickey Mouse."

The Medical Examiner performed toxicology tests on Mason and ruled his death a homicide Oct. 7 after determining that he suffered head trauma, police said.

The ME declined to say why it had taken a year to determine the death was a homicide.

"Every death investigated by the medical examiner's office presents its own unique circumstances, and the nature of each particular investigation drives the timeline for results," M.E. Director of Public Affairs Julie Bolcer said in a statement.

No one has been arrested, police said. Their investigation is ongoing.

There will be a candlelight vigil for Mason on Oct. 24 around 2 p.m. in Crotona Park.