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Columbus police and the Bartholomew County coroner are investigating the death of 19-month-old Evan Jack McCue.
Police found him lifeless in his mother’s home Sunday night.
“(The mother) basically said her child was not responsive, he appeared lifeless,” Columbus police Lt. Matt Myers said Tuesday as police analyzed what might have happened.
Coroner Allen Smith said he performed an autopsy on the toddler’s body at midday Tuesday but hasn’t determined a cause of death yet. Smith said he is awaiting toxicology reports.
Myers said a police officer was dispatched to a home in the 2800 block of Lamplight Drive at 8:20 p.m. Sunday, where the toddler’s mother, Rachel McCue, and her 30-year-old boyfriend, Thomas W. Gorski, were waiting. The woman had called 911, saying the little boy wasn’t breathing.
Patrolman Toby Combest arrived and saw that the child wasn’t moving and apparently wasn’t breathing, Myers said. Combest administered first aid until emergency medics got to the scene a few minutes later to take over.
The medics tried to revive the child with CPR but had no luck, Myers said. The boy was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Further details of what happened Sunday night on Lamplight Drive remain sketchy. Police have not released a transcript of Rachel McCue’s 911 call or discussed what they were told by McCue or Gorski in follow-up questioning.
“These are very sensitive things to investigate, and our heart goes out to the family,” Myers said Tuesday.
He said police were awaiting the coroner’s report and that conducting an autopsy in such cases is “standard procedure” to determine whether some medical condition caused the child’s death.
The boy’s death came roughly seven weeks after his maternal grandparents — Robin and William McCue of Columbus — had filed a petition in Bartholomew County Circuit Court to win third-party custody or guardianship of their grandson.
The court filing said the grandparents had provided financial support and care for the toddler for more than a year and had a “close, loving relationship” with him. The boy was born April 21, 2011, and had lived much of that time with Robin McCue, the Oct. 5 court filing said.
The boy no longer lived with his grandmother after Sept. 7 this year, court documents said, but no other details were provided.
A court hearing on the grandparents’ custody case was scheduled for Dec. 21 in Decatur Superior Court in Greensburg, after being reviewed by special Judge Matthew D. Bailey here.
Dominic Glover, the grandparents’ attorney, declined to comment on the toddler’s death or the custody petition other than to say that the grandparents were “deeply grieving” and unable to grant an interview Tuesday.
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