California authorities now are investigating a 2-year-old boy’s death as a homicide, months after relatives were told he may have died from the flu, according to reports.
Koltyn Sparks-Blockwood was admitted in January to the University of Calfornia Davis Children’s Hospital, where he died from what officials determined was a “possible illness or accidental” CrimeOnline reported.
He had been unresponsive with the flu symptoms, but tests found that he had also had a severe brain and internal organ damage, according to the Union Democrat.
His grandmother, Tracy Gulcynski, said the family never believed that the flu was responsible for the child’s death.
“In the beginning, it was stated as a suspicious death, meaning he could have possibly been sick or it was accidental,” Gulcynski told the newspaper. “We knew in our hearts that was not true.”
Her daughter-in-law, Nicole Sparks, had left Koltyn with a babysitter in Waterford while she went to work, CrimeOnline reported. Hours later, Sparks received a call from the sitter claiming the boy had fallen extremely ill.
“He did have the flu but his death had nothing to do with the flu,” Gulcynski told CrimeOnline.
An autopsy report released in June determined that he had died from blunt force trauma, officials said.
Determined to get an arrest in the case, the family launched the Facebook page “Justice for Koltyn” with 2,000 followers.
Ten months after Koltyn’s death, police confirmed his case is now being treated as a homicide, according to reports.
“We’re shocked and saddened at how long the wheels of justice have taken,” Gulcynski told CrimeOnline.
Police haven’t identified any suspected in the case — and the family said they can’t comment on who they believe harmed the toddler, the outlet reported.
“To me, this is one of the worst crimes you could ever commit,” Gulcynski told the Union Democrat. “It’s a very cowardly crime to injure someone who cannot defend themselves, or speak to clearly say that he was hurt.”