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ME: 4-Year-Old Amityville Boy’s Death Will Be Classified As Homicide

Investigators Say Body Covered In Bruises; Cause Of Death To Be Determined
A Suffolk County police car is seen in front of a home in Amityville, NY on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 where police said a 4-year-old boy was found dead. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

A Suffolk County police car is seen in front of a home in Amityville, NY on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 where police said a 4-year-old boy was found dead. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – While the circumstances are still a mystery, police said a 4-year-old boy found dead on Long Island was murdered.

The child, identified by authorities as Adonis Reed, was discovered alone in an Amityville apartment Wednesday afternoon.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the cause of death, but the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office announced that Reed’s death will be classified as a homicide.

Suffolk County police said they received a 911 call just before 4 p.m. Wednesday that an ambulance was needed for a child at an apartment on Ketcham Avenue.

When police arrived, they said they found Reed unconscious on the couch. Whoever called 911 had disappeared, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.

There was not an adult in sight as the child laid motionless, unable to be saved by CPR. Police said those caring for the 4-year-old and a 6-year-old sister were not their parents.

“There were no adults in the house when police arrived,” said Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick.

Items left at the home in Amityville where a 4-year-old was found and later died - Jan. 17, 2013 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

Items left at the home in Amityville where a 4-year-old was found and later died – Jan. 17, 2013 (credit: Sophia Hall / WCBS 880)

Reed was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, but attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m., police said.

Investigators said Reed’s body was covered in bruises.

“The victim is clearly the victim of violence and we are investigating the circumstances of that violence,” Lt. Fitzpatrick said.

Reed’s 6-year-old sister was placed in custody of Child Protective Services, Suffolk County police announced Thursday.

Police did not immediately say who the caller was or the relationship to the victim.

Child Protective Services held an emergency hearing with the children’s 21-year-old biological mother. She was not living with her children — at the time of Adonis’ death and is not a suspect.

Renard Swain lives in the apartment next door in the same house.

Swain said he last saw them on Saturday.

“I didn’t see them take out the kids or anything really,” he said. “They were just quiet people.”

On Thursday, neighbors placed teddy bears and candles on the front stoop of the home.

“I’m upset about this story. It’s such a little fellow, being such violence,” one neighbor told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

“My heart goes out for the little boy. I didn’t know him,” another said.

“The last thing we thought was going to happen is that this boy would be found with bruises on his body,” neighbor Tracy Chessler said.

“I never saw neglect. If I did see them, [they were] running around outside playing,” said next-door neighbor Eric Erath.

Homicide detectives are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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