April 17, 2014

Elyria
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Coroner says dead toddler had alcohol in his system

Demarius Boone

ELYRIA — A 2-year-old pronounced dead after he stopped breathing at Chadwick Apartments earlier this month did not appear to die of natural causes, Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans said.

Police were called to the apartments on Ridge Circle at 10:45 p.m. Oct. 12 after 2-year-old Demarius Boone stopped breathing. Police said the child’s mother, whose name has not been released, called 911.

An ambulance arrived at the scene and took Demarius to EMH Elyria Medical Center, where he later died. The attending physician told police there appeared to be no signs of visible trauma, but Evans, who is completing an autopsy of the child, said he appeared to suffer “life-threatening injuries.”

Evans said police are still investigating to determine if the injuries were due to a traumatic accident or the result of abuse, but the injuries were not “minor bumps and bruises.” Demarius also had traces of alcohol in his system, Evans said.

Full results of a toxicology test are pending, but Evans said a screen picked up some alcohol. Just how much the child consumed is still unknown.

Listen to the 911 calls:

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Police are not releasing the names of the two adults present when rescue crews were called to the home, because Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said an investigation is continuing.

According to a 911 tape, the mother was on her way home and her boyfriend was watching the child. A 911 dispatcher asked the man if the child got into anything.

“He smells like liquor, man. … He probably did, man,” the man said to the dispatcher.

The mother is heard on the tape returning home and screams. The man can be heard saying, “I wasn’t even here, man.”

According to a police report, a 4-year-old and 7-month-old were also in the apartment but reportedly sleeping.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.