GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) – A man accused of abusing his six-week-old adopted child was charged with first-degree murder after the boy died in the hospital Wednesday evening, according to the Gastonia Police Department.
Authorities said 42-year-old Van Custudio was arrested and originally charged with child abuse after his infant adopted son went into cardiac arrest earlier this month.
Police and rescue responded to a call at a home on Prancer Lane around 10 a.m. on April 1 after the infant went into cardiac arrest.
The boy was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.
The family of 42-year-old Gastonia resident Van Custodio was in the process of adopting the child, the police report indicated.
Detectives determined the cardiac arrest was related to injuries sustained that were consistent with being physically abused, the report indicated.
The child died from his injuries at the hospital on April 13 and Custudio was charged with murder.
According to the Associated Press, Custodio was listed as a full-time assistant professor in computer studies at Belmont Abbey College, but his information was not available on the school’s web page. His Linkedin page also showed he was an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte at the start of 2022.
Gastonia Police said the investigation remains active. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Loftin at 704-866-6702.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.