Minnetrista police say the February death of a toddler in St. Bonifacius was a homicide.
Officers responded to a home on the 3700 bock of Hillview Lane in St. Bonifacius around 11:30 p.m. on the night of Feb. 10 for what was reported as a medical issue concerning a child. Upon arrival a 19-month-old boy was found in distress and transported to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia. Cottrell Short was pronounced dead a short time later, according to a statement issued late last week by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.
A story appearing in this morning's Star Tribune reports as many as 15 people were living in the St. Bonifacious home, and police tell the paper they found garbage, dead animals and generally squalid living conditions.
An autopsy revealed multiple fractures to the child's extremities, as well as injuries to his abdomen and head. The boy also suffered from sepsis, according to authorities. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled the manner of death homicide.
“Many serious injuries were inflicted on a very young child,” Minnetrista Police Chief Paul Falls said during a Friday news conference. “I want to assure my community that the Minnetrista Police Department has been working extremely hard on this case. We are bringing every available resource to it.”
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told reporters that it was "clear from the list of injuries that this little boy died a horrible death."
“It is disturbing that he also had suffered from abuse and neglect prior to his death,” Sheriff Stanek said.
The case remains an ongoing, collaborative investigation between the Minnestrista Police, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
At this time, there has not been an arrest for the homicide of Cottrell Short, but the boy's mother—27-year-old Shacara Tennell Foster—was arrested on March 23 and has been charged with felony neglect. She is currently in custody at the Hennepin County jail and being held without bail on a probation violation.
Patch will have updates to this story as they become available.
Information provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Minnetrista Police Department.