'It was a mistake': Parents of 3-month-old charged after baby found dead in Bronx woods

Janice Yu Image
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
3-month-old shaken to death before body dumped in Bronx woods: police
When reporters asked the baby's father if he shook her, he replied, "it was a mistake." Janice Yu reports.

HIGHBRIDGE, The Bronx (WABC) -- Police have released new information about what led up to the death of a 3-month-old baby who was found along the Major Deegan Expressway.

Damion Comager, the baby's 23-year-old father, was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter on Monday.

Officials say Comager told the baby's grandfather that he shook her because she wouldn't stop crying. He later found his daughter, Genevieve, was dead.

In phone conversations with his parents, Comager allegedly told them that he had shaken the crying baby on May 14.

Comager reportedly panicked and put the infant in a bag before he dumped her along the Major Deegan Expressway, just blocks from the transitional housing shelter where they lived.

The baby's grandfather told a priest what happened and he wanted to "do the right thing" by calling the police.

Officials say detectives questioned Comager and the baby's mother, 20-year-old Ivana Paolozzi, during the day on Sunday.

Police spent hours combing through the area surrounding the University Family Residence on University Avenue. By 8 p.m., Genevieve's body was found in the woods below a pedestrian overpass in the Highbridge section.

Paolozzi, who is originally from Switzerland, is also being charged with concealment of a human corpse and obstructing governmental administration, authorities said.

When reporters spoke to Comager as he got into a police car he said, "I love my daughter." When asked if he shook the baby, he said, "it was a mistake."

Comager is from Louisiana and had a few prior arrests there, sources said. He and Paolozzi moved to New York City in December and Genevieve was born in February.

Neighbors say this tragedy wouldn't have happened if they had just reached out for help.

"That baby deserved a life. I don't care what the circumstances are. There's the fire department, take that baby and drop it off," one neighbor said.

An autopsy was conducted Sunday, but the official cause of death is still pending. The NYPD says they are treating the death as a homicide.

Authorities say Comager and Paolozzi will be arraigned Tuesday at criminal court.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend seeking donations to help pay for Genevieve's funeral.

ALSO READ | 15-year-old drowns at Sandy Hook Beach

A 15-year-old drowned Sunday at Sandy Hook Beach and at least four others were rushed to the hospital. Sonia Rincon has the details.


* More Bronx news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.