More testing needed to determine cause of boy’s death

Holly Fournier, Karen Bouffard and Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

Detroit — An autopsy was performed Friday on a 7-year-old boy whose body was brought to a hospital showing signs of abuse and weighing just 27 pounds, but further testing is needed to determine the official cause of death.

“Many times in cases like this where several physical health factors or conditions are present, further testing and investigation are necessary to determine the true cause of death,” said Mary Mazur, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said charges were not expected this weekend.

Police have arrested the 28-year-old stepfather and 32-year-old mother of Immanuel Foster, Sgt. Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department said.

Mazur said Immanuel had been taken to Henry Ford Hospital on Thursday after reportedly suffering cardiac arrest at home.

Police were called to Henry Ford Hospital early Thursday morning after it was discovered the boy “had what appeared to be some bruising” consistent with child abuse, Woody said. .

The child was living in a home in the 2200 block of Richton Street on Detroit’s west side. There was no record of abuse complaints regarding the family being filed in Detroit with child protective services, Woody said

Woody said investigators were working with state officials in Saginaw, where the family recently lived, to find out if any complaints had been filed there.

“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 well and was vomiting. Doctors didn’t believe the story and called police.

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.

Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt said the boy’s malnourishment and bruising pointed police to problems.

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,” Dolunt said.

Detroit News Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.