Father arrested over death of baby son was planning boy’s first birthday party just days before he ‘hurled him in Moses basket into river after row with infant’s mother’
- Zakari Bennett, 11-months, was allegedly thrown into River Irwell in Manchester
- A man named locally as Zak Bennett-Eko was arrested on suspicion of murder
- Mother Emma Blood, 22, wrote: ‘I love my little boy and did everything for him’
- The baby’s great grandfather said today the father was planning son’s birthday
- Police believe shocked witnesses may have caught the incident on video
- **Do you know the father? Did you see what happened? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org**
A father was planning his son’s first birthday party just days before he allegedly threw him to his death into a river in his Moses basket, family members said today.
Zak Bennett Eko, 22, was arrested after baby Zakari died in the River Irwell, in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester at 4.30pm yesterday.
The suspect, who its believed had taken his son out to buy milk after a row with the boys mother, was found minutes later inside the nearby Lock Keeper pub.
Police have appealed for witnesses who may have caught the incident on video to come forward.
The boy’s grief-stricken mother Emma Blood, 22, posted an emotional statement on Facebook this morning, telling how she has ‘lost my son’ and said she ‘wished I was dead.’
Describing her son as ‘my world, my heart, my soul’, Ms Blood, who is believed to be pregnant, told how she spent the final moments with him after his death.
Zakari’s maternal great-grandfather has now revealed how Bennett Eko and Ms Blood were a ‘happy couple.’
In her statement Ms Blood wrote: ‘I didn’t know my child was dead until I got to A&E. We sat with him for hours, we held him, we kissed him and then I left’
The alleged killer, named locally as Zak Bennett-Eko was seen by witnesses entering the pub and trying to buy a drink. He is understood to be in custody and being quizzed by police
Emma Blood (pictured in hospital with her son) has posted an emotional statement on Facebook this morning after the death of her son Zakari, and wrote: ‘I love my little boy and did everything for him’
David Kavanagh, 67, told The Sun: ‘I only saw him and his parents on Monday. He was a great lad.
‘Emma and Zak seemed like a happy couple, she was a loving mother. She was taking Zakari to playgroup and they were making plans for his first birthday.
‘One of my daughters came round to tell me what had happened. It’s the worst thing you could imagine. I was totally shocked.
‘It’s a terrible tragedy and the family are desperate to know why it happened.’
Paramedics battled to save the boy after he was pulled from the water by firefighters, some 100 yards from the bridge. He was taken to hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.
Detectives are continuing to appeal for information and believe that parts of the incident were captured on camera by members of the public.
An photograph posted on Bennett-Eko’s Facebook page. It is captioned: ‘My little big man’