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Man burns his girlfriend’s daughter on his 24th birthday

By Mason White 10:09 AM March 21, 2014
James Harris and Amerah Roberson 

By: Aarav Sen
(Scroll down for video) A man was arrested and charged with murder on his 24th birthday after allegedly killing his girlfriend’s one-year-old child, police in Illinois said.

James Harris, 24, who was accused of killing 19-month-old Amerah Roberson, was ordered held without bail on Thursday.

Prosecutors said that Harris killed the child before dumping her body in the woods in Riverdale earlier this week. Assistant State Attorney Robert Mack said that there is video evidence to link Harris to the murder.

On Sunday at 5:00 p.m., Harris called the mother of the child to tell her that her girl had disappeared from their apartment building in the 3500 block of South Rhodes Avenue. At 3:25 p.m., police discovered the burned body of Amerah in the woods near the 14000 block of South Normal in Riverdale.

During an investigation, police found video from a nearby building showing Harris going into the woods carrying a bag. Police also found a key belonging to the car of Harris. A witness told police that when he picked up Harris from the woods he had a bag with children’s clothes smelling of gasoline.

Harris also told the witness that he had lost the keys in the forest. Harris finally admitted to police that he had taken the body of Amerah to the woods and set it on fire, but said that the child died accidentally by falling from a bed in the apartment.

The Cook County Medical Examiner, said that the child did not die from a fall and declared the death a homicide.