The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has yet to determine the cause of the boy’s death, but on Wednesday they said he was murdered.
The investigation began late Friday night when the man told a 911 operator his 12-year-old son had drowned in the bathtub.
The frantic call was made shortly before 10 p.m. Friday.
“I thought he was in the tub, but when I went in to try and see him…,” Mr. Forbes told an operator, heard in the 911 recording obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He was a little bit underwater. His head was, like, bobbing.”
But then officials found signs of long-term abuse on the boy’s body after he was transported to the hospital where he later died.
“The male juvenile, who had multiple bruises, bite marks, lacerations, and other marks that are consistent with physical abuse, appeared to have endured abuse for quite some time,” the sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Ashley Henson said.
Mr. Forbes was arrested and charged with felony child cruelty, but after the GBI’s ruling he was charged with murder and an additional child cruelty charge, Cpl. Henson said. The GBI is waiting o the results of additional testing to determine the cause of death.
Investigators have not released details about what they believe happened Friday night in the home that the dad shared with his two children.
Eric’s younger sister, Erica, has remained in state Division of Family and Children Services custody since Friday night, according to police.
On Tuesday, the children’s mother, Ms. Ashlei Majors, attempted to get custody of Erica, the AJC reported. But because neither Majors nor Forbes had an attorney present, a Paulding judge delayed the hearing.
Mr. Forbes was denied bond at a court appearance Wednesday. He remained in the Paulding County jail Thursday.
It's unclear how long the sixth grader at McClure Middle School has been abused and there is no indication that deputies have ever responded to the home before.
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