Fresno man accused in 4-year-olds murder

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno detectives for now -- don't believe that Jennifer Crawford had anything to do with her son Michael's death. Meanwhile police do believe her boyfriend was responsible for killing the child.

Fresno Police believe Demetris Reese killed 4-year-old Michael Crawford on May 17th at a home in Southeast Fresno.

Detectives say the child was first found not breathing around 10:45 and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center where he died less than an hour later.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the medical staff found marks on Michael's body. "They noticed bruising in the abdomen, chest, arms, and legs of the victim Michael Crawford. And it raised suspicion."

That suspicion was confirmed one day later when the coroner ruled Michael's death a homicide -- the result of blunt force trauma to his abdomen.

Detectives zeroed in on Reese even though he claimed the boy was unresponsive when he found him.

The 21-year-old was arrested Monday morning while visiting his two other children in protective custody.

He's being charged with murder and assault on a child leading to death. Police say the mother -- Jennifer Crawford is not considered a suspect at this time. She told Action News in an exclusive interview last week -- that it was possible Michael died from drinking too much laundry detergent three days prior to his death.

Crawford said, "Before that he was fine. He never drank nothing. He thought it was water. He went to the counter and got it off and drank it and I said what'd you drink baby and he said water and he's like the water's nasty and I smelled it and it was laundry detergent."

Jennifer Crawford told detectives she called Poison Control and police verified the conversation. Poison Control told Jennifer that Michael could not die from ingesting the detergent.

Toxicology reports won't be available for at least a couple weeks. Detectives say Jennifer Crawford and Demetris Reese were living together at his mother's house for three weeks before the incident.

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