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Updated May 26, 2015 - 3:55 pm

Cause of death not determined for toddler found dead on park swing

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Authorities have not been able to determine the cause of death for a 3-year-old who was found dead at a playground last Friday morning, according to Yahoo News.

Officers found the La Plata, Maryland toddler lifeless in a park swing as his mother pushed him along, but said the cause of death remains under investigation.

The toddler’s 24-year-old mother has been hospitalized and has not been arrested in connection with her son’s death. Officials said she may have been at the Wills Memorial Park with her son for hours before the boy was discovered.

Charles County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said there were no obvious signs of foul play but further investigation and toxicology tests will still be needed.

Vontasha Simms, who identified herself as the child’s grandmother, said her daughter would never harm her grandson.

“(The mother) would never harm my grandson in any type of way,” she said in an interview with WUSA-TV. “You know, I just believe she had some type of mental illness, some type of mental break that came upon her where she wasn’t able to get herself out of that situation.”

James “Donnell” Lee, who identified himself as the child’s father, said he had fought for sole custody of the child while the mother showed various signs of debilitating mental health during the weeks prior to his death.

A GoFundMe page dedicated to raising funds in order to give the toddler a proper funeral said the boy’s family had been struggling with homelessness and mental health issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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