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Caregiver says 3-year-old choked to death; autopsy shows blunt force trauma

Atlanta, Georgia (WGCL) — The family of a 3-year-old boy is demanding justice after the boy died while in the custody of a temporary guardian.

According to Atlanta police, officers responded to an apartment on Cleveland Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Saturday after getting a report of a child choking.

Paramedics took the boy, identified as Kejuan Mason, to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

After the incident, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office told Atlanta police the child died due to blunt force trauma, police said.

The boy’s paternal grandmother wants answers from the woman who was taking care of him and his twin brother. That woman, who wasn’t at a vigil for the child Tuesday, claimed he choked on a cupcake.

“I had that feeling that something was going wrong,” said Geraldine Mason, the boy’s mother. “My child did not choke from a cupcake.”

Mason told CBS46 News her twins were in the custody of a friend of hers from school. She said she asked the friend to take care of them while she was in jail for reckless conduct, accused of leaving five of her children home alone.

After Mason’s release from jail, the court system refused to give the children back to her, Mason said, leaving them in the temporary custody of the friend.

Mason says when she visited her children, she noticed scars and bruises on them and became suspicious.

“I told DFCS. I told the juvenile system, the court — I told everybody,” said Mason. “I said, ‘I think y’all need to do something because someone’s beating on my children.’ They did not listen to me. Not one time. They did not listen to me. They said okay, ‘I’m gonna put you back on the court date. You just got to sit and wait for your court.'”

The boy’s twin brother Kerry is being cared for by his grandmother, who also blames Kejuan’s death on child protective services.

“DFACS needs to be accountable. They get these long case loads. They forget about the people that really need them, these babies,” said the grandmother Xavier Upshaw.

An Atlanta police spokesperson says four other children and three adults were in the house at the time of the incident, adding that the department’s Special Victims Unit is investigating the child’s death, along with the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.

No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.