Econo Lodge: Police seek more information on circumstances around toddler’s death

Autopsy results Tuesday were inconclusive.

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Manchester’s Critical Incident Response Unit parked outside Econo Lodge Tuesday. Photo/Pat Grossmith

2:30 p.m. Story updated with autopsy results, below

MANCHESTER, NH — Waleed Muhammad was in the lobby of the EconoLodge Monday night when he heard a guy yelling there was a baby upstairs floating in the bathtub.

He yelled for someone to call 911.

Within minutes, Muhammad said, an ambulance and eight police cruisers arrived on the scene.  Shortly after, he saw emergency responders carrying a baby across the lobby.

“I was standing in the lobby and they were carrying the baby out,” said Muhammad, a grandfather of six whose youngest grandchild just turned one.  “It’s a sight I probably will never forget.  The baby was blue.”

Police were called to the EconoLodge about 6 p.m. for a report of a medical issue involving a 1-year-old girl.  When officers arrived, the toddler was unresponsive and taken to Catholic Medical Center, according to Heather Hamel, public information officer.  The baby did not regain consciousness and later was pronounced dead.  Police said the death is considered suspicious.

“Apparently, the bathtub was overflowing and water was going downstairs,” said Muhammad.  “That’s what makes it worse.”

Waleed Muhammad witnessed rescuers in action Monday night from the lobby of the Econo Lodge. Photo/Pat Grossmith

Muhammad and his wife are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary and were staying a couple of days at the EconoLodge.  He went back to his room but later on returned to the lobby where he learned the child had not made it.

“I said a prayer,” he said. “You just never know in life what can occur.”

Police interviewed numerous people on the scene Monday night and collected evidence.  Detectives returned Tuesday morning, along with the department’s Critical Incident Response Unit truck.

Results of an autopsy Tuesday morning by the State Medical Examiner were inconclusive and the cause of death, undetermined at this time. Toxicology and more testing will need to be done to identify a definitive cause of death.

Manchester police are working in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office to determine the cause of the child’s death.

If you have any information about this incident, please call police at 603-668-8711 or the Crimeline at 624-4040.