TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office said a 3-year-old Tacoma boy who died at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Tuesday night suffered blunt-force trauma to the head and abdomen.
Terrick Davis was rushed to the emergency room by his 23-year-old mother just after 11 p.m. because he was having trouble breathing.
Police said 20 minutes later, he was dead.
Police spokeswoman Officer Loretta Cool said when Davis showed up in the emergency room Tuesday night, doctors noticed obvious signs of abuse and alerted police.
The woman’s boyfriend, 28-year-old Derrick Myers, had been babysitting Davis and his younger sister, police said.
Myers is now in the Pierce County Jail on charges of homicide by abuse.
When officers were notified that Terrick had died, they went to the home in the 7600 block of South Pacific Avenue where her 2-year-old daughter was still being watched by Myers.
She was taken into custody by Child Protective Services.
Neighbors told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News they were shocked by the accusations.
“They seemed like very nice children and very nice people,” said Lori Page, who lives next door to the family. “I mean, I can just hardly believe this has happened. It’s a terrible thing when children are involved.”
Another neighbor, who did not want his name used, said he heard pounding coming from the apartment where the boy lived around 11 p.m. Tuesday. He said Myers and his girlfriend were new tenants who kept to themselves and rarely spoke to other people living in the apartment complex.
Neighbors said they saw police and forensic investigators walking in and out of the apartment carrying children’s bedding and evidence bags around 5 a.m. Wednesday.
“I watched when a police car came, then another van came,” said Page.
Florine Bolden, who lives two doors down, said she was stunned by the accusations and that no one in the complex suspected Terrick was being abused.
“That is ridiculous; it’s crazy to have a baby go through that. It’s not good,” Bolden said.
A woman living across the street said she was Myers’ grandmother and did not want to give her name, but she said if he did what police accused him of doing, he deserved to go to jail. The woman had no details about the allegations and said she was shocked when she heard Terrick was dead and that Myers was suspected of killing him.
Myers is expected to appear in court to face charges on Thursday.