NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Medical Examiner’s office has determined that two Bronx toddlers who died just minutes apart were killed by blunt force trauma to the torso.
Both children suffered from asthma, but the ME ruled their deaths homicides.
As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, it’s a heartbreaking development in an already tragic story about two little children found dead in their home. Tuesday night, police at the 50th Precinct are looking to speak with family members again.
Three-year-old Micah Gee and his 2-year-old sister, Olivia, were put to bed around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, their mother — Jade Spencer, 31 — and her boyfriend told police.
Spencer additionally told police the kids went to bed before her boyfriend — Novell Jordan, 31 — arrived Sunday night, police sources tell CBS2.
The two then smoked marijuana, drank beer, and watched a movie before she fell asleep, the sources said.
Hours later, Jordan said something was wrong with the children. Authorities say Spencer called 911 after discovering the boy couldn’t breathe and her daughter was unresponsive.
When EMS arrived, they found the 2-year-old girl unresponsive.
The toddlers were taken to Montefiore Medical Center, where they were later pronounced dead – Olivia just three minutes before her brother.
Doctors told police both children had symptoms that can be caused from severe asthma attacks. Police also noticed unexplained injuries to both of their necks.
Both the mother and her boyfriend were questioned by police Monday. Spencer was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, where she remained Tuesday evening.
Now that the Medical Examiner has determined that they died due to blunt force trauma, police want to talk to both of them again.
Neighbors at the Amalgamated Housing Co-Op were sickened to hear how the toddlers died.
“They’re defenseless,” Edith Brownbroyant said. “There’s nothing they could do to hurt you, why would you want to hurt them?”
“The worst thing we could actually imagine,” Co-Op General Manager Charles Zsebedics said. “This is not something we could ever think of.”
Those who know the family are reeling with grief. The children’s grandmother Doris is the educational director at the well-maintained Co-Op on Van Cortlandt Park South, and Brownbroyant says she’s “devastated.”
“How and why this happened will be explored further and I don’t know that we’ll ever have answers to it,” Zsebedics said.
Police sources said Jordan has four prior arrests and is a gang member. They said she has only been dating him for seven months, and neighbors said they have only seen him a handful of times.
Jordan has obtained an attorney, and police are now consulting with the Bronx District Attorney as to how to proceed in the investigation.