NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are investigating after 3-year-old child was found dead in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn Wednesday.
Police say they were dispatched to a residence on Rockaway Parkway where they found the boy, identified as Ethan Ali, unconscious and unresponsive with bruises on his body.
EMS pronounced the boy dead at the scene, police said.
As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, heartsick relatives consoled each other on Wednesday night. One relative was in custody, police said.
“He was so vibrant,” said Ethan’s great aunt, Jennifer Evans.
“I was stunned because I saw the baby yesterday,” neighbor Elise Witty said. “He’s a happy kid. He always plays with the kids, and running around.”
Sources tell CBS2 police are questioning the child’s aunt, 21-year-old Kristen Dale, who was babysitting at the time. Dale lives with her sister, Ethan’s mother.
The victim’s great-uncle Devon Evans believes Dale is to blame.
“She’s evil to kill a child. She’s evil. Very evil,” Evans said.
Ethan’s father, Anthony Ali, briefly visited the scene. He was too emotional to say anything, as officials from the New York City Medical Examiner’s office collected evidence.
“I want justice. He doesn’t deserve that. He’s only a child,” Evans said.
Evans said Ali was locked in a custody battle with the child’s mother. The death of his only son causing so much pain.
“We are working closely with the NYPD on an investigation around the circumstances surrounding this tragic death,” Jill Kraus with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services said in a statement.
The investigation is ongoing, and the Medical Examiner’s office is working to determine the cause of death.