Hudson Prosecutor Seeks Public’s Help In Locating Mother of 3-Year Old Girl Gravely Injured in a North Bergen Child Abuse Case

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information pertaining to a child abuse case involving a missing, 21-year old mother of a 3-year old girl who was gravely injured at a North Bergen motel:

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a 21-year-old woman who is wanted for her involvement in a child abuse case that left her 3-year-old daughter gravely injured.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Shaqwana Baker. Her last known address is in the Bronx, New York, and she has recently stayed in North Bergen and Secaucus. Baker and her boyfriend, Edward Smith, 29, of Far Rockaway, New York, are both charged with Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), a crime of the second degree, and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), crimes of the second degree. Smith was arrested on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at the Hudson County Correctional Facility, where he was being held pending a detention hearing on additional criminal charges.

On Sunday, January 23, 2022, the New York City Police Department was notified by NYU Langone Hospital that Baker brought her 3-year-old daughter to the facility with life threatening injuries. The child was later transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Bellevue Hospital, where she continues to receive medical treatment. An investigation by the NYPD and HCPO Special Victims Unit determined the 3-year-old girl was the victim of child abuse and was injured while staying at a North Bergen motel with Baker and Smith. Her injuries are expected to be permanent and life altering.

The state has filed a detention motion against Smith, which is tentatively scheduled for Monday, March 7, 2022.

Anyone with information on Baker’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Special Victims Unit at 201-915-1234 or leave an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s official website at: https://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/.

All information will be kept confidential. The above charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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