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Man charged with murder, neglect and battery in death of 17-month-old in Indy

Terrence Porter.JPG
Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 12, 2019

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated the city where the incident took place. RTV6 regrets the error.

INDIANAPOLIS — A man has been charged with murder, neglect and battery in the death of an Indianapolis toddler.

On Friday, emergency crews were dispatched to the 7400 block of Rockleigh Avenue for an man with chest pains. As crews were leaving the scene, police say Terrence Porter, 24, ran out of the house saying his baby wasn't breathing.

According to police, medics found an unresponsive child inside the home. The toddler was transported to Clarion Hospital West in Avon and later taken by medical helicopter to Riley Hospital for children in critical condition. The child died the next day.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Child Abuse Unit, Detective Nicolle Flynn affirmed that the child was injured "so severely that his brain became neurologically unresponsive."

According to the affidavit released by the State of Indiana, Dr. Tara Harris, of the Riley Hospital Child Protection Team, stated that the toddler's CT scan proved that he had an acute subdural hematoma (a very recent brain bleed), and retinal hemorrhaging (bleeding behind the eye sockets).

Dr. Harris said she had seen the toddler and his parents only seven days prior on March 1, who had come to Riley because of swelling to his ears and arm. Five days later, Porter and the toddler's mother were back because the toddler was "especially fussy" and Dr. Harris recalls Porter calling the toddler a "cry baby."

Following further investigation, IMPD arrested Porter charged him with murder, neglect of a dependent causing death and battery.

Dr. John Cavanaugh with the Marion County Coroner's Office completed the toddler's autopsy on Monday and stated that the cause of death was blunt force traumatic injury to the head, and the manner of death was a homicide.

IMPD also issued the following statement:

"IMPD encourages parents to leave their children with close friends and family members who have experience. Our children are the future of the city we all call home – and it’s up to all of us to protect them."