For Immediate Release – May 14, 2013

Contact:
John Holl
Union County Prosecutor’s Office
908-527-4621, jholl@ucnj.org

Police Looking for Man in Connection with Assault on Infant


UPDATE: Michael Bell dob 9/18/1978 of Plainfield was charged with 1st degree Murder today for the murder of his son, 3-month-old Zion Bell, announced Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow. According to the investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Plainfield Police Division, Zion Bell was assaulted by his father on May 10, 2013. Police responded to the scene and transported the child to Robert Wood University Hospital, where he remained in grave condition until he was pronounced dead on Monday afternoon.

Michael Bell was arrested in Newark on Saturday May 11, while on a bus en route to Iowa. He was transported to the Union County Jail and ordered held without bail. Bell was originally charged with aggravated assault and the charges were upgraded this afternoon.

Bell is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday in Union County Superior Court.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.


The Union County Homicide Task Force and the Plainfield Police Division are actively searching for a man wanted in connection with the severe beating of an infant.

Police were called to a house on the 200 block of Lee Place in Plainfield around 10:35 p.m. Friday. There, they discovered an injured 3-month-old child who was immediately transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. Doctors later determined that the child, now listed in grave condition, was suffering from fractures and internal bleeding.

Authorities have charged the child’s father, 34-year-old Michael Bell with 2nd Degree Aggravated Assault. Bell fled the house after allegedly assaulting the child, and police are actively searching for him, said Romankow. Additional charges against Bell are expected to be filed in due course.

Anyone with information that leads to the arrest of Michael Bell is eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 from Union County Crime Stoppers.  Anonymous tips can be called into (908) 654-TIPS or registered at www.uctip.org.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.