Caregivers charged in 3-year-old’s death, Minnesota police say

Two caregivers have been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy caused by 28 blunt force injuries, Minnesota police said.

Screenshot of Eastyn Deronjic’s obituary

Three-year-old Eastyn Deronjic had been vomiting and passing out for nearly two days but never went to the hospital, Minnesota police told news outlets.

In the early hours of March 18, paramedics were called because the child was not breathing, Moorhead police said.

The toddler was rushed to hospital but died, police said.

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After months of investigation, Eastyn’s two caregivers have been charged with causing his death, police said.

Shiann Erickson, 21, and Rosa Garza, 24, were arrested and charged with murder on July 8, police said. They are being held at the Clay County Jail on $1 million bail, Inforum reported.

The toddler’s autopsy report revealed that the 3-year-old suffered “28 blunt force injuries,” Inforum reported, and that he died of a perforated intestine caused by a “single blow.”

According to the medical examiner, the child could only survive a few days with his injury, Bring Me The News reported.

Eastyn had been in Erickson and Garza’s care since August, but the child’s mother said she saw him two weeks before his death, KVLY reported. Court records indicate she noticed the child’s bruises, but that it was because he was clumsy, the outlet reported.

Erickson told investigators that Garza would become angry and hit the child, KVLY reported.

“Eastyn was a very outgoing and lively little boy who loved playing with his Nerf guns,” his obituary said. “He called them his ‘pu pu’ because every time the toy guns were fired they made that sound. He especially loved playing with his uncle Imor and considered him like a brother.”

Erickson and Garza were also caring for Eastyn’s younger brother, who is currently in custody, police said. The investigation into the toddler’s death is ongoing.

Moorhead is located approximately 230 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

Kate Linderman covers breaking news for McClatchy. Previously, she was an editor at the Chicago Tribune and a freelance journalist. Kate is a graduate of DePaul University where she studied journalism and legal and public affairs communications.