Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Reacts To Developments In Toddler Death

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Nearly four months after a Des Moines toddler died police have made an arrest in the case.

Two-year-old Calvin Trullinger was brought to Mercy Medical Center back on May 24th where he was pronounced dead.  Calvin’s mom told Channel 13 initially that he died from lack of oxygen caused by a seizure.  However police say that's not the case.

“When the child was brought to the hospital he had pretty serious injuries and definitely suspicious in nature,” Sergeant Paul Parizek said.

Police say on the day he died Calvin was under the care of his then 17-year-old sister and her thirty-seven-year-old Nicholas Rivera.  On Friday River was charged with Child Endangerment resulting in death.  Police say his arrest is not the end of the investigation.  “We know that those were the only two that were there when these injuries could have occurred, and the injuries were not accidental," Parizek says, adding that a second arrest is pending.

Alli Moerman with Prevent Child Abuse Iowa says child abuse cases are becoming more common.

“We have seen about 30% increase in reports made from 2016 to 2017 so it shows us that people are aware of what they are seeing with these high-profile child abuse cases," Moerman said.

Police and Moerman hope this case encourages people to be vigilant.

Nicholas Rivera’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 17th.

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