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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Police in Indiana are investigating the death of a toddler earlier this week as a homicide.
Around 12:30 p.m. Monday, Fort Wayne Police were alerted about a child who was taken from a home in the 2700 block of Millbrook Drive to a local hospital in critical condition.
The child died at the hospital.
The Allen County Coroner’s Office said 17-month-old Aiden M. Clark died of blunt force injuries of the chest. The death was ruled a homicide.
On Wednesday, Fort Wayne Police said 27-year-old Shaquille Rowe was arrested on charges of battery to a minor causing death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Rowe said he was in the shower when he heard crying. He said he got out and found the toddler was not breathing, and he started to perform CPR, the affidavit said.
A dispatcher overheard Rowe say, “Why did she leave me in the house like this?” the affidavit said. Rowe said his girlfriend, the child’s mother, left him with the child.
Medics who treated the toddler found bruising around his neck and chest possibly related to “some type of abuse,” the affidavit said.
An autopsy found the child had suffered a fractured sternum and his “heart was ripped in half,” the affidavit said. The toddler suffered a torn pericardium sac which led to a “massive amount of hemorrhaging,” the affidavit said. He also suffered blunt force trauma to his left midsection, a lacerated spleen, and hemorrhaging around his left kidney and pancreas.
Doctors noted the child likely died 2-5 minutes after suffering his injuries, the affidavit said.
Rowe was the only adult present in the home with the child, police said. No other information was released. Police said the investigation was ongoing.