Family of dead 19-month-old calling on Allen County prosecutor to file charges

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The family of a Fort Wayne toddler who died last year stood on the courthouse lawn Friday night calling for justice.

“A year ago our baby boy passed away,” said Abraham Paez, Elias Paez’s uncle. “We are here to show the prosecutor that she should take our case. This is a murder.”

Elias Paez died on Oct. 22, 2020. The 19-month-old boy was found unresponsive in his apartment at 4315 Joshua Lane, near McKinnie Avenue and South Anthony Boulevard.

Elias Paez

The family told WANE 15 that Elias’ father was watching him and left when he was unresponsive. His father then called the mom who went to the apartment. A friend later arrived before the pair called 911.

At the time, the Allen County Coroner’s Office said it was still working to determine the cause and manner of the toddler’s death.

Then in August the Allen County Coroner’s Office announced that it determined young Elias died of “Tracheobronchitis with Multiple Bruises of Varying Ages.” Tracheobronchitis occurs when the windpipe or bronchi become inflamed. The coroner’s office described the wounds as “abusive injuries.”

However, the manner of the child’s death remains officially undetermined. The coroner’s office said it was waiting for “the completion of the death certificate and the investigation to continue.”

In the meantime, his family said they are demanding that the Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards file charges.

“He just lights up the whole room, you’d be in a bad mood and just see him smile,” said Abraham Paez. “So why does our baby boy get to be declined? He was 19-months-old who hadn’t lived his life yet. Why does he get to be ignored?”

The family is hoping that Richards will file charges against both parents and bring justice for the 19-month-old.

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