ASTORIA, Ore. (KOIN) — The man accused of beating a 2-year-old in a Portland motel has a child of his own he is not allowed to see.
Joshua Howard, 28, faces a variety of charges that likely will be upgraded since the toddler, Coltin Salisbury, died late Thursday.
There were previous allegations of abuse that happened while the boy, his mother and Howard — the mother’s boyfriend — were living on the Oregon coast.
Though he is not allowed to be with his own child, Howard was living with his girlfriend’s child.
“I couldn’t believe it. That baby was a good baby and his father loves him so much,” said family friend Cynthia Glansbeek. “I can’t believe they let something like that happen to that child. He’s a baby. And now he’s going to be a memory.”
Glansbeek is a friend of Coltin’s father, and told KOIN 6 News she had concerns about Coltin since Christmas.
“The baby had bruises on its cheek that was healing up and a scrape on his chin, and (his father) says he had a handprint the size of a man’s hand bruised on his butt,” she said.
Coltin’s father filed a welfare check with Seaside police at the time to make sure the boy was OK. But since the allegations happened in Astoria, authorities there took over the investigation.
Neither agency would talk with KOIN 6 News about the case because, they said, it could interfere with the investigation.
The Clatsop County district attorney said he can’t release much information on this case, but said detectives thoroughly investigated this incident and found no wrongdoing.
The incident was referred to DHS.
This week at the Unicorn Motel in Portland, Howard allegedly threw the toddler against the toilet because he was upset the child threw up on the bed and was crying.
He’s expected back in court next week.
Glansbeek thinks the whole thing was preventable.
“I think (authorities) should have seen what was happening with the child when he was with the mother because that sends up a huge red flag,” she said.