Father of baby found dead in river returns from Thailand to face charge

NEW YORK (WPIX) — The father of a baby found dead in the East River last weekend was arrested Friday after arriving in New York City from Thailand, where officials said he fled after concealing his dead child's body.

James Currie, 37, is expected to face a charge of concealing a human corpse, according to officials. He arrived in NYC late Thursday, and was officially arrested around 1 a.m. Friday, police said.

The charge is being levied after tourists spotted the body of 7-month-old Mason Saldana floating in the East River near the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday.

A tourist and first responders frantically worked to save Saldana, but officials said he was already dead.

It is not yet known how the baby died, and Currie could face additional charges, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

Related: Baby dies after being pulled from water near Brooklyn Bridge

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Baby dies after being pulled from water near Brooklyn Bridge
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Baby dies after being pulled from water near Brooklyn Bridge
FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2018, file photo, a New York Police Department officer stands guard as authorities investigate the death of a baby boy who was found floating in the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge in the Manhattan borough of New York. A Bronx father hopped a plane to Thailand after carrying his dead 7-month-old baby around New York City in a backpack and tossing the boy's body into the river and other tourist hotspots, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted, File)
James Currie appears in Manhattan criminal court during his arraignment, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in New York. Currie is accused of throwing the lifeless body of his son, Mason Saldana, into the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday. A tourist spotted the child's diaper-clad body and waded into the water to retrieve it. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
James Currie appears in Manhattan criminal court during his arraignment, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in New York. Currie is accused of throwing the lifeless body of his son, Mason Saldana, into the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday. A tourist spotted the child's diaper-clad body and waded into the water to retrieve it. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Attorney Norman Williams, left, speaks to James Currie during his arraignment in Manhattan criminal court, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in New York. Currie is accused of throwing the lifeless body of his son, Mason Saldana, into the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday. A tourist spotted the child's diaper-clad body and waded into the water to retrieve it. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
James Currie appears in Manhattan criminal court during his arraignment, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in New York. Currie is accused of throwing the lifeless body of his son, Mason Saldana, into the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday. A tourist spotted the child's diaper-clad body and waded into the water to retrieve it. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Attorney Norman Williams is surrounded by reporters after the arraignment of his client, James Currie, in Manhattan criminal court, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, in New York. Currie is accused of throwing the lifeless body of his son, Mason Saldana, into the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday. A tourist spotted the child's diaper-clad body and waded into the water to retrieve it. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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Currie is believed to have retrieved Saldana from his mother last Saturday afternoon, and video evidence shows the baby was alive when arriving at his father's Bronx residence shortly thereafter.

The following day, Currie was seen leaving his home with a backpack and later walking with it toward the East River.

Saldana's body was found floating near a backpack, officials noted.

Currie boarded a plane to Bangkok by Monday afternoon — hours before Saldana's mother reported to police that her child had not been dropped off with her as planned, Shea said.

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