INKSTER, MI – After it was announced that an 8-month-old baby girl had been abused in an Inkster motel and then died, her father was charged with the crime.
James Lee Saltmarshall, 22-years-old, of Detroit, has been charged in connection with the death of his daughter who was an eight-month-old infant girl. James Saltmarshall has been charged with Felony Murder, Child Abuse Firstst Degree and Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree.
So many have expressed their outrage. The initial disgust, anger, sorrow and sadness for a little life lost was all over the screens in front of us. Then the fathers appearance in court for his arraignment was played out for all to see during the early afternoon newscasts. His emotions were running way past tilt. They were over the top. So much so that it was very hard to miss that he was appearing to be extremely genuine. That is where several people sat back and gave the gravity of the situation another thought.
It did not take long for those who all saw the same things to come together and start asking some very interesting questions. A first check was made through the Michigan Department of Corrections for records on the father James Saltmarshall. There was nothing. He may have had small issues of some type with the local courts but nothing was revealed during a search of public records. So it appears that he has stayed completely out of trouble and was being a very upstanding young man. It was not until the mother of his child became a part of his life that he would have any real problems.
But what about the mother of this child? The script of this story immediately got flipped.
The mothers name is Zuleika Moreno. Moreno is 29-years-old and has given birth to six children. One of those children is now dead. The other five children she does not have custody of. They were all taken away from her by the State. During a records search, it was found that relatives have taken on the responsibility of custody and care for some if not all of them.
She has left a trail of legal problems from Michigan to New York and Florida too.
Zuleika Moreno is currently on probation until 03/03/2021 for Child Abuse, 3rd Degree out of Oakland County. Her five years of probation for that offense began on 03/03/2016 after she plead no contest [Nolo Contendere] to the charge.
One must remember that the original charge of 2rd Degree Child Abuse is an intentional act. It is not something that is mistakenly done.
Initial charges are often dropped or reduced in court cases if that initial charge cannot be supported or an agreement is made between the courts and the defendant.
The assault on her child took place at 118 S Merrimac Street in Pontiac. When she was arrested, she was charged with 2nd Degree Child Abuse. She was given a personal bond in of the amount of $10,000.
On July 1st, 2015 she was ordered to have supervised visits by the courts. At that time she was still in the process of working through her legal troubles in the court system.
As the case found its way through the system, through her attorney, she took a plea deal. The 2nd Degree Child Abuse charge was reduced to 3rd Degree Child Abuse. As a part of her plea, the 2nd degree charge was suspended. Zuleika was ordered to multiple conditions of parenting classes after she was convicted or found guilty on 01/28/2016. She was sentenced on 03/03/2016. in Oakland County, Michigan.
Also, part of the conditions of serving the sentence for 3rd Degree Child Abuse, she was ordered in March of 2016 to undergo treatment for not only drug abuse but treatment for domestic violence as a batterer as well.
In the court records, the original presiding judge was so upset and disgusted by Zuleika Moreno and her lawyer that he asked to be taken off the case and it be reassigned to another judge.
Given the fact that Zuleika is on probation for child abuse, then it is now understood why she did not have custody to the 8-month-old baby girl. According to court orders, if she wanted to see her other children, she had to be supervised by the court and it was up to the courts if she were allowed to see them. She should have never been allowed to be around the 8-month-old without the courts absolute knowledge, approval and supervision no matter who had legal custody.
It is well known she was in the motel room with the baby. She clearly has violated the terms of her probation. She should be arrested and serve out the remainder of her sentence behind bars. Why is she still free to walk the streets? Why have the courts not stepped in and ordered her immediate arrest?
Moreno’s sister had posted to Facebook an answer or reply about the children. The sister posted in February that the mother would have all of her children if she was a good mother. So there have been and are definite problems with this woman and her having children in her care and custody.
Zuleika Moreno was recently on Facebook defending James after he was arrested. She had posted ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ Her own brother became so outraged that he blocked her from communicating with him.
On July 25th of 2016 she had another court appearance/trial. It appears as though she was fighting to get custody of her children.
Taryn Asher with FOX2 News filed a report on April 24th, 2017 in regards to this case.
Saltmarshall’s own mother said that the baby should never have been in her son’s care because the baby’s mother having had other children taken away from her. Aisha Saltmarshall told Asher that she warned police, case workers and the state about her concerns. She was the one who had been caring for the baby.
On Monday April 17th, authorities ignored her concerns. Officers handed over the 8-month-old to James Saltmarshall and Zuleika Moreno.
The grandmother claims that she called every Wayne County agency telling them the baby was not safe. Her efforts obviously fell on deaf ears. Detroit Police told her that it was not their call but that of Child Protective Services. CPS told DPD that they had to handover the child to the father.
Asher said Child Protective Services believed that James Saltmarshall was living at his sister’s house and that’s where they believed that he would be caring for his daughter. However, he was not. They were residing at the Alpine Motel in Inkster. DPD, CPS, DHS all failed this innocent child. The couple had won the custody battle. But then a few days later and that baby would be dead.
It is believed that Zuleika Moreno manipulated and setup the father so he would get physical custody of the baby. She has made her rounds through the legal system. She is 29-years-old to his 22-years-old. He would not have extensive knowledge of a custody case unless she was leading or controlling him through the process which it appears as though she did.
He had legal and rightful papers for the child. After his mother handed over physical custody, the 8-month-old baby was in their care and away from responsible watchful eyes. Did Moreno abuse that child as well like she was previously convicted of with another one of her children? Did she use some type of object to cause anal tearing on that child as it has been reported that doctors found after the baby was taken to the hospital for treatment? Was DNA collected from the anal tear to determine the guilt or innocence of James Saltmarshall?
During the arraignment for the father, officers of the court were detailing the finding from physicians that had examined the child after she arrived at the hospital. They stated that there was “abuse consistent with injuries over a period time”. The child had not been in the care of the couple for very long. It was never stated how long they felt that the child had been abused for. That alone gives pause to the case.
Sadly, Zuleika Moreno set up a Go Fund Me account that states “Janiyah Saltmarshall 8 month old baby needs to be put to rest. Family and friends would greatly appreciate all the help and support.” That account has been reported. She should not be trying to make money off of the death of the child. She is also not responsible for the burial of this child since she did not have custody.
For those who care enough and wish to put money on the books for him at the Wayne County Jail, you will find the information below:
570 Clinton Street
Detroit , MI 48226
Inmate number # 1730261