OKLAHOMA CITY — The death of a toddler has been ruled a homicide, police in Oklahoma City announced Friday.
In June 2017, officers with the Oklahoma City Police Department responded to Baptist Hospital after a two-year-old boy was transferred for significant burns to his lower body.
The child, identified as Ezekiel Jones, died on June 22, 2017 from a brain bleed. This week, the Medical Examiner’s office ruled Jones’ death a homicide.
"Investigators responded to the hospital due to the extent of the injuries," said Officer Megan Morgan of the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The Care Center in Oklahoma City is now helping with the case. CEO Stacy McNeiland said they are a child abuse evaluation and response center.
"The type of cases we see dictated by state statute are deemed shocking and heinous," said McNeiland. "A mom spanked a child and lost her temper or parents who need parenting classes? We’re not going to see those types of cases. We’re going to see the extreme and those children who truly need us to be their heroes."
According to McNeiland, child abuse is unfortunately not uncommon in Oklahoma. She told News 4, one in three girls and one in five boys are abused in Oklahoma County between the ages of 2 to 18.
While she could not comment on specifics regarding the toddler's death, she was able to provide some details on what they have found so far.
"What I will say, is that if the guardians of the parents would have had some parental classes perhaps, or some very intense negotiations with the parents in terms of how to handle their emotions, how to handle just having a baby and being a parent, we may be looking at a much different situation," she explained.
News 4 asked police whether they had any suspects or people of interest in this case so far. We were told they have finished interviewing everyone involved and that the investigation is ongoing.
No arrests have been made. Police say the case will be handed to the District Attorney’s office at the conclusion of the investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact 405-297-1124.