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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | West County / Oxnard

Death of Toddler Under Investigation

October 24, 2000|TIMOTHY HUGHES

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of an 18-month-old boy who died Sunday night while in the care of a family friend.

Officials with the Oxnard Police Department would only say Monday that the boy's death was unusual and that his body showed signs of physical abuse. The child was not identified pending notification of relatives.

The boy's pregnant caregiver, whom investigators refused to identify, is a primary witness in the case. Police said she went into labor shortly after the infant's death.

Investigators said Monday that they interviewed the woman briefly before she gave birth and plan to talk to her in detail about all aspects of the deceased child's life during the next few days.

Coroner's officials on Monday began the autopsy of the infant but said it will not be completed until today because of a backlog of other autopsies.

Senior Deputy Coroner James Baroni declined to comment on the case, except to say that an official cause of death for the child had not been determined as of Monday night and that notification of the family was taking additional time.

Police officials were working with coroner's employees to track down the victim's parents and had not done so as of late Monday.

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