Autopsy Reveals Lansing Toddler Died of Blunt-Force Injuries

The girl's death was ruled a homicide, and a murder investgation is underway

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lansing police say the 2-year-old may have been a victim of child abuse. Family members are being questioned, but still no charges. (Published Thursday, Mar 20, 2014)

    A 2-year-old girl found inside a Lansing home Wednesday died of multiple blunt-force injuries, an autopsy revealed.

    The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said the young girl, identified as Jakarriah Patterson, was a victim of child abuse. Her death was ruled a homicide, and a murder investigation is underway.

    Police were called to the home in the 179th block of Wildwood Avenue at about 2 p.m. for a medical emergency and discovered the girl's body inside. Jahariah was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Neighbor Janelle Balentine didn't want to speculate about what might have happened, but says the little girl was cute, and the family didn't appear to have any problems.  

    "In the summer she would come over and knock on the door and she wanted to play ... she would just run sometimes and say hi," Balentine said. "They looked like they had a good relationship, a good family bond."

    The neighborhood is described as a quiet community of working class families and retired resident who've lived there for decades. News of a homicide was the last thing they wanted to hear.

    "I have grandchildren myself. I've got newborns ... twins," neighbor Rita Sanchez said.

    A team of investigators descended on the empty house Thursday and spent time inside. Others searched two large garbage cans in a nearby alley.

    "I'm afraid to go to work, I'm afraid to go out of the house. We're just going to stay inside the house, especially since I have a little one, I'm very, very cautious now," neighbor Dora Jablonski said Wednesday.