Dallas dad jailed after two children found dead

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by REBECCA LOPEZ and DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 6:59 PM

DALLAS — Dallas police have arrested a man who they said took his two small children by force on Monday. They were later found drowned.

Naim Rasool Muhammad, 32, allegedly never dropped the children off at school and there was concern because of his history of violence.

He now faces two counts of capital murder.

It all started off with a kidnapping report around 8:30 a.m.

The children's mother was walking one of her children to Frazier Elementary School when the father approached them, forced her and both of the kids into his vehicle.

Relatives said the couple had been arguing over their children and they were separated.

The mother was able to get out of the car and ran to a Dallas constable for help, but what happened next was a nearly four-hour scramble to find the boys, Elijah, 3, and Naim, 5.

Just after 9 a.m., Dallas police arrived in the 6300 block of Songwood Drive near Lazy River Drive. They met with the children's paternal grandmother.

Within an hour, investigators had the suspect — Naim Rasool Muhammad, 32 — on the phone. He could be heard yelling at his sister, who asked him: "Are my nephews alive? That's all I want to know — are they alive?"

She turned away and the grandmother began to cry.

Another relative arrived at the scene and began to scream that the children were dead. The woman fell to the ground in apparent grief.

Dallas police at that moment were still searching for the childen and their father, but had not issued any kind of alert.

They continued talking to Muhammad on the phone, urging him to give himself up, but relatives received phone calls stating that the children had been harmed.

By noon, the Dallas police SWAT team arrived and surrounded a wooded area one block from the grandmother's home.

Muhammad reportedly called his mother and told her that he had drowned his children.

The two children were found in a South Dallas parking lot inside their grandmother's car. Paramedics tried to resuscitate the kids, but there was nothing they could do.

Joe Johnson, the children's step-grandfather, told News 8 the grandmother got a call Monday morning that the children were in danger, and she rushed out of the house to help.

But it was already too late. Police said Muhammad had drowned his two children.

The children's grandmother found the children in their father's car and sat in the vehicle with them until paramedics arrived.

A muddied Muhammad was found by the SWAT team in a nearby creek and taken into custody.

No Amber Alert was ever issued.

Police said the incident could have been even worse; Muhammad was said to have been trying to take a one-year-old child as well, but the relative would not let him.

The tragic incident has taken a toll on everyone, from family members to police officers.

"I think everyone's hurt in this case," said Deputy Chief Craig Miller. "I think officers that open up the trunk of a vehicle, the back hatch of a vehicle, and see a deceased three-year-old and a five-year-old, I think each one of us think about our own children, the vulnerableness of life."

Police have not found any evidence of a protective order, but the suspect did have a violent past.

"They was some nice kids, and they don't deserve to be dead... I know that," Joe Johnson said.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com and dschechter@wfaa.com

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