Orange, NJ man faces murder charge outclassed in death of 4-year-old

A 21-year-old Orange man has now been charged with first degree murder in the death of a 4-year-old girl late last month.

Charges against Jamel Welch were dropped on Friday, after the Essex County District Attorney’s Office received autopsy results showing Laniyah Bloodworth died of blunt trauma.

The regional medical examiner has ruled on the mode of death by homicide.

Jamel Welch (Essex County District Attorney’s Office)

Welch, who dated the mother of the child and babysat, was first accused of endangering the well-being of a child, after unexplained bruises were discovered on the body of the girl.

On December 30, first responders were called to a house in the 200 block of Wallace Street in Orange following a report of an unconscious child – Laniyah was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

A GoFundMe countryside hosted by Annette Bloodworth, who said she was the child’s grandmother, had raised a few thousand dollars for the child’s funeral expenses on Sunday.

“She was filled with love, joy and happiness. There are no words to describe the way we suffer. She was a talented ball of light that lit up any room she entered. She didn’t deserve to abruptly leave this world like she did, ”Bloodworth said of the young child, in the online fundraiser summary.

Welch remained in Essex County Jail.

Anyone with potential information on the case can contact the Essex County Attorney’s Office Homicide and Major Crime Working Group Advice Line at 1-877 TIPS-4EC or 1-877- 847-7432.


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