Fugitive Friday: Police search for child abuse suspect

By Matt Boyce - bio | email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Petersburg police are looking for Jamar Pettaway. He's been on the run for almost two months now.  Police are working to get him off the street and are looking for your help.

On December 28 of last year, an unconscious three month old baby was rushed to Southside Regional Medical Center.

"Unresponsive at the time upon arrival," said Detective Larry Mann of the Petersburg Police Department.

The baby was in critical condition so he was med flighted to VCU Medical Center for further care.   At the time, the baby was in the care of Jamar Pettaway.

"The mother had left the child in possession of the boyfriend while she was at work," Mann said.

When questioned by police, Pettaway said he called 911 when the baby stopped breathing.

"At that time though it looked like the baby had choked on some formula.  The tests had not been run yet, we were looking at his face value," Mann said.

Pettaway was allowed to leave, but then...

"Upon investigation talking to individuals, viewing medical reports, talking to doctors that traumatic brain trauma was the cause for the baby's loss of consciousness," Mann said.

Indictments were issued on Pettaway for felony child abuse. Police searched all of Pettaway's last known addresses including this one on Ivy Lane in the now abandoned Americana Trailer Park in Chesterfield County.

Police believe he is still in the area.

"He has so many family ties to the area, I believe he's somewhere," Mann said.

Almost two months later the infant is still hospitalized, being fed through a tube in his belly.

"The doctors are hoping that the baby won't be a 100 percent total care patient but at this time it looks like the baby is going to be 100 percent total care for the duration of its life," Mann said.

Police say any information would help their investigation.

"It's just one of those cases where you hope and pray somebody calls in and gives you a tip," he said.

If you have any information on Jamar Pettaway call 345-1212 now.

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