NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The death of Myls Dobson – the 4-year-old boy who was found dead in a Midtown high-rise in January – was ruled a homicide by the New York City Medical Examiner’s office Thursday.

As the manner of death, the Medical Examiner’s office cited child abuse syndrome, a term that generally encompasses multiple injuries. They wouldn’t disclose specifics, but the Manhattan district attorney’s office has said the girlfriend, Kryzie King, seared Myls’ leg with a hot oven rack, bound him with shoelaces, whipped him with a wire, beat him with a belt and watched him starve before he was found unconscious in her Manhattan apartment.

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The ruling could mean upgraded charges in a case that prompted the mayor to order changes at the city’s child welfare agency.

King, 28, already has been charged with first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment, police announced Thursday night.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment Thursday.

King’s lawyer, Bryan Konoski, said prosecutors hadn’t informed him of the ruling, and he was frustrated to learn of it from reporters.

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Police responding to a 911 call at the Ritz Plaza building on West 48th Street on Jan. 8 found Myls unconscious in the bathroom. Dobson was pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital.

During about three weeks of caring for Myls, King seared his leg with a hot oven rack, bound him with shoelaces, beat him with a belt buckle while he tried to hide under the bed, locked him outside on a freezing balcony for up to an hour and watched him starve, losing 10 to 20 pounds, before she called 911 on Jan. 8 saying he’d been hurt in a fall, prosecutors said. She admitted the abuse and said the boy had misbehaved, they said.

King told police she had put the boy on the bathroom counter and left the room briefly on Jan. 8. Police said King told them Dobson fell and landed in the empty bathtub in her Midtown apartment.

King has pleaded not guilty to 12 counts – including charges of felony assault, child endangerment, DNAInfo reported. She was arrested last month.

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