A two-year-old in Indiana, who shockingly died after being taken to a local fire station on Wednesday (29 December), died from blunt force trauma, the county coronor has said. Allen County Deputy Coroner, Christopher Meihls, said that the manner of toddler Malakai Michael Garrett's death was homicide.
Allen County Sheriff's Department identified Malakai, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Thursday as the individual who was taken to Fort Wayne Fire Department Station 13 and later declared dead at a local hospital.
The Coroner's Office said that the cause of death had been determined to be a "Hemoperitoneum Due to Laceration of Pancreas, Duodenum & Mesentery Due to Blunt Force Injury of the Abdomen", adding in a press release that the "manner of death is homicide".
Authorities said the incident was still being investigated by the police, coroner and county prosecutor's office.
Local ABC affliate, WPTA21 reported that 27-year-old Mitchell Vanryn had been arrested and charged with domestic battery and aggravated battery, with court documents saying that he is Malakai's mother's boyfriend.
IBTimes UK contacted Allen County Sheriff's Office for further information on Vanryn's arrest, but did not recieve a response by the time of publication.
Documents seen by WPTA21 said that Malakai's mother had said Vanryn cared for the child while she was at work. The night before his death, the toddler had been feeling unwell and had some bruising on his face from falling, the mother told authorities.
Vanryn allegedly told police that he had put the child down for a nap, but then found him unresponsive later. He said he had slapped him and put cold water on him in an attempt to get a response. Footage from a neighbour's surveillance camera reportedly showed Vanryn rushing from the house carrying the child, who he took the fire station.
The channel reported that a doctor who had conducted on autopsy on Malakai said that he had severe bruising and injuries that were a few days old and consistent with being struck multiple times with a closed fist.`