Police investigating boy’s death
Detroit — Police arrested the mother and stepfather and are working with the state Department of Human Services in the death of a 7-year-old boy brought to a Detroit hospital Thursday showing signs of abuse and weighing just 27 pounds.
Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said police arrested the 28-year-old stepfather after discovering the boy “had what appeared to be some bruising” consistent with child abuse when police responded to Henry Ford Hospital at 6:20 am. Thursday. They also arrested the 32-year-old mother. Warrant requests have been submitted to the prosecutor’s office, police said Thursday night.
Woody said investigators were working with state officials in Saginaw to find out if any complaints had been filed there with child protective services. There was no record of abuse complaints filed in Detroit, he said.
“We heard that there may have been some (complaints)but that hasn’t been confirmed,” Woody said.
Police said the stepfather said the boy, who was dead on arrival at the hospital, came to him about 5 a.m. and said he wasn’t feeling good.
“He was vomiting profusely,” said Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt, who was visibly shaken while speaking to the media Thursday. “Upon arrival at the hospital, the doctors didn’t quite buy that story and called police.”
The child, identified as Immanuel Foster, was living in a home in the 2200 block of Richton Street on Detroit’s west side.
The couple had been living in Saginaw with Immanuel and two other children. The 28-year-old male moved to Detroit with the three children in mid-September. The mother stayed behind in Saginaw for work, but returned to the home two days before Immanuel was taken to the hospital.
Lola Barber, who lives across from the family’s home on Richton, said she never saw or heard anything unusual.
“I was shocked when I woke up this morning and heard all this,” said Barber, who has lived on the street for more than 50 years. “I have never seen anything that would be abusive.”
Barber said all of the children appeared to be very young, about preschool age.
“The kids I saw was no 7-year-old,” Barber said. “If he was the size of these kids and he was 7, he had a medical problem.”
Dolunt said the boy’s weight and bruising pointed police to problems.
“Right now it appears that the child had a number of bruises and abrasions,” Dolunt said. “He was extremely malnourished and this was going on for a while.”
Two other kids, ages 2 and 3, taken from the home were in Child Protective Services. “It is my understanding that the siblings are fine,” said Dolunt.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.