Death of 3-year-old boy in 2016 ruled a homicide, police say

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EAST HARLEM, Manhattan – The death of a 3-year-old boy days after he was found in his Harlem apartment with bruises all over his body has been deemed a homicide, police said Friday.

Caleb Rivera, 3, died on Aug. 5, 2016. Two days prior, the toddler was rushed to a hospital “in a state of distress,” police said.

Law enforcement sources told PIX11 News at the time that Rivera’s mother told detectives she left her son in the care of her boyfriend so she could buy cigarettes when she received a call from her boyfriend that the boy was choking.

The 27-year-old mom returned to her apartment in the Jefferson Houses on First Avenue to find her child unconscious, sources said. Neighbors performed CPR until EMS arrived.

Rivera was rushed to a nearby hospital then transferred to another facility where he was pronounced dead, police said. Sources at the time told PIX11 News the boy had severe bleeding on his brain and around his heart along with lung injuries not caused by CPR.

Rivera’s cause of death is multiple blunt impacts including injuries of head and neck, according to the city’s medical examiner.

No arrests have been made in the case, police said.