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3-Year-Old Dies; Toddler's Mother's Boyfriend Arrested

Last updated on Thursday, August 23, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Police said a 3-year-old Indianapolis girl is dead, and they suspect abuse caused her injuries.

Tuesday afternoon Indianapolis Metro Police responded to Spanish Oak Apartments on the city's east side on a report of a possible dead child.

Police said when they arrived, Jose Cruz, 20, was in the apartment, hysterical and wet with sweat, and they found an unresponsive 3-year-old girl.

The police report said when officers arrived they found the unresponsive toddler wearing only a T-shirt, with bruises from head to toe.

The child was taken to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition.

Police arrested Cruz, who is the boyfriend of the toddler's mother.

Officials said Cruz is facing attempted murder charges, which will likely be upgraded.

Reports show a family friend called police last month to report Cruz abusing the same child, but neighbors said they didn't see the signs.

"We always see her playing around outside - a happy little girl, a happy 3-year-old," one neighbor told RTV6's Ebone Monet.

Sandy Runkle-Delorme, with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, said most Indiana child abuse victims who die are 3 years old or younger, so it's important for people to speak up about any possible case of child abuse.

"If you're wrong, then great. If you're right, you're right. You might have prevented a tragedy," she said.

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