- Authorities in Florence, Alabama, said on Friday that they had opened a homicide investigation into the death of a 3-year-old boy who was initially thought to have died of heat exposure.
- The Florence Police Department said officers responded to a call about Kaiden Garner’s death at a local hospital on Wednesday.
- The police said over the weekend that “preliminary autopsy reports show that Kaiden’s death resulted from blunt force trauma.”
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Law-enforcement officials in Florence, Alabama, said on Friday that they opened a homicide investigation into the death of a 3-year-old boy who was initially thought to have died of heat exposure.
A press release said Florence police detectives arrived at North Alabama Medical Centre on Wednesday to investigate the death of Kaiden Garner. The police thought that Garner’s death was related to heat exposure, but autopsy reports later found that the boy died from blunt-force trauma, it said.
“Since that time, detectives have confirmed that Kaiden’s death was not in fact related to any type of injury caused by an exposure to heat,” Lt. Wesley Gargis told the Times Daily newspaper over the weekend. “Based on the evidence gathered thus far and statements made we now consider this to be an active investigation into the homicide of 3-year-old Kaiden Garner. Preliminary autopsy reports show that Kaiden’s death resulted from blunt force trauma.”
The police said they were seeking information from the community about the case.
Ron Tyler, the Florence police chief, told the Times Daily that no one had been arrested. “There are situations when there’s an adult victim when people choose not come forward, but we hope when there’s a 3-year-old someone will come forward,” Tyler said.
On Saturday, loved ones gathered at a candlelight vigil to commemorate Garner’s life. “I don’t know how to feel,” his mother, Lesley, told WAFF 48. “My body is numb. My mind is numb. I don’t know how to feel.”
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