Toddler's death in Mankato ruled homicide, 16-year-old boy charged with murder

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a 2-year-old boy in Mankato, Minnesota. 

On April 16, the Mankato Department of Public Safety responded to a medical incident on Eastport Drive. A 2-year-old boy was brought to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. 

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the boy’s death a homicide. 

On April 28, police arrested a 16-year-old boy near his house on the 500 block of North 5th Street, according to the Mankato Department of Public Safety. He has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held in a juvenile detention facility. 

According to court documents, officers invterviewed witnesses and learned the teen was home alone with the toddler on April 16, though the amount of time is unclear. Early that evening, a witness found the child with fresh marks on his face and cold to the touch in his bedroom. She called the child's mother, who was on her way home. After the mother arrived, she flagged down a nearby police officer.

When officers arrived witnesses on scene said "the dogs did it," however, police officers noted the child's injuries were not consistent with a dog attack. The medical examiner later determined the toddler died of "multiple traumatic injuries due to physical assault" and was also sexually assaulted.

During questioning, the teen changed his story and certain "discrepancies" led investigators to believe the teen was possibly involved with the child's death. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is analyzing several DNA samples from the teen.

The homicide remains under investigation.