Toddler Found Dead | Cousin Arrested

August 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A sixteen year old Merced boy is in custody this evening, charged with beating his 21-month old cousin to death.The Merced police department says the child's mother left 21-month old King McCowan and his four year old brother in the care of their sixteen year old cousin last Wednesday while she went to the bay area.

Investigators say the teen admitted to beating the boy with a belt Saturday night because they were being disobedient. The teen went on to say he tried to wake the baby Sunday but the child never woke up.

The child's grandmother says she is having a hard time believing the teen is responsible for the baby's death. Katrina McCowan, baby's grandmother, says "I'm not accusing him because I doubt if Tyrone will ever do anything to hurt the baby. You never want to think anything like that."

The Merced County District Attorney charged the 16 year old cousin with homicide and child abuse. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for a carjacking.

The coroner will perform an autopsy to determine the exact cause of the baby's death.

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