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Death of Las Cruces toddler ruled a homicide

LAS CRUCES  — An autopsy shows the April death of a Las Cruces toddler came from blunt force injuries to the head and neck and not an accidental choking as reported at the time.

The report from the state Office of Medical Examiner says the death of 21-month-old Mariano Hernandez was a homicide, not an accident.

The Las Cruces Sun-News ( reports Mariano died April 22 at an El Paso hospital two days after a family friend told police he started choking on a piece of candy as he rode in a car.

The autopsy shows a reenactment of the actions the caretaker told investigators he took to try to save Mariano could not have caused his injuries.

A spokeswoman for the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Thursday an investigation is ongoing.


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