Babysitter Charged In Toddler's Death

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Fairfax County man wanted in the slaying of a toddler Tuesday morning was arrested yesterday by federal marshals at an airport motel in New York City.

Mohammad Ahmad, 24, and his wife, Jillian Ahmad, 21, baby-sat for children in the basement of their rented townhouse in the 6400 block of Silver Ridge Circle, in the Kingstowne area. Court records said Jillian Ahmad left the children with her husband for two hours Tuesday morning while she went shopping and visited with a friend, not 40 minutes as initially reported.

It was during those two hours that police believe 21-month-old Myles Simon suffered a fractured skull and a lacerated liver. The assistant state medical examiner who performed the autopsy, Todd Luckasevic, told police that the toddler's injuries were "not the result of a fall," according to a police affidavit filed in Fairfax Circuit Court.

Neither Myles's family nor Jillian Ahmad could be located yesterday for comment. Mohammad Ahmad was being held in a New York jail last night, awaiting extradition to Virginia, where he is charged with murder.

While paramedics and police were going to the Ahmads' townhouse on Tuesday morning, Mohammad Ahmad was driving away in a green Ford Escort, police said. When police found the Escort in the Falls Church area early Wednesday, they obtained a search warrant for it, revealing new details about the case.

According to an affidavit written by Fairfax homicide Detective David W. Allen, Jillian Ahmad told police she and her husband regularly baby-sat for four children, though on Tuesday they were caring for three. Jillian Ahmad said she left the home at 9 a.m. to go to Wal-Mart and visit a friend.

A short time later, Mohammad Ahmad called his wife, Allen wrote. Mohammad Ahmad told her that "Myles was very tired and wanted to sleep," the affidavit states. Jillian Ahmad told police she instructed her husband not to let Myles sleep because it was too early for a nap.

Mohammad Ahmad called his wife again that morning, again saying that "Myles was tired and wanted to go to sleep," Jillian Ahmad told police. She returned home at 11 a.m.

Jillian Ahmad told police that her husband asked her to check on Myles "since he had been sleeping a long time," Allen wrote. Jillian Ahmad found Myles face up, his lips blue, not breathing. She called 911.

Paramedics tried CPR and then rushed Myles to Inova Springfield Healthplex, where he was pronounced dead.

Police would not say yesterday how they think the toddler was injured, or why. But when a Fairfax police lieutenant found Mohammad Ahmad's missing Ford Escort at 3 a.m. Wednesday, he spotted an envelope on the front seat with handwriting on it, Allen's affidavit states. The handwriting read: "He sat on the couch and fell off and I tried to help."

Police obtained a warrant charging Mohammad Ahmad with murder and, during a cellphone call, tried to coax him into returning to Fairfax. Instead, he headed up the East Coast, and federal marshals joined the hunt. He was tracked to Philadelphia early yesterday, and "we were a few hours behind him," Chief Inspector Tom Henssion said.

Investigators theorized that he would keep heading north, then were tipped that Ahmad would be at a hotel near LaGuardia Airport. The first hotel the deputies checked, the Westway Motor Inn, was the one, Henssion said. "They went in, he was sitting there," unarmed and offering no resistance, Henssion said.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company