BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
When an 8-month-old Bakersfield child was taken to a hospital last fall, there was immediate suspicion on how he died.
The father said the boy fell off a brick wall outside of the family home. But staffers at Children's Hospital Central California in Madera took a look and found he suffered from bleeding on the brain, lung bruising and numerous other injuries.
A few days later, on Sept, 17, Alfredo Jesus Jacobo died.
This week the Kern County coroner's office announced that the boy's death was a homicide caused by blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and face. There was no word on whether anyone has been arrested.
Documents obtained by The Californian from the Kern County Department of Human Services revealed the details:
The child's father said he was home, in the 3000 block of Lake Street in Bakersfield, with Alfredo and his 2-year-old sibling. (The parents' names were redacted in the documents.)
The father said he brought Alfredo outside and placed him in a sitting position on a 4- to 5-foot high brick wall, the documents said. He said he held him there with one hand while trying to water the lawn with the other and Alfredo lost his balance and fell forward, hitting his head and face.
Alfredo didn't cry, the father said, but grunted and moaned while on the ground. The father said he brought him into the house and put him on a bed.
The father, not thinking the injuries were serious, decided to wait to see if Alfredo improved. He also said he didn't get medical help because he panicked.
"I decided to wait for my girl to get home from work to decide what to do," the father is quoted as saying.
Alfredo's mother arrived home from work at 5 p.m. and was distraught to see her child. But the father talked the mother out of taking Alfredo to the hospital, insisting they wait "for a bit to see if he will get better."
The next morning the mother noticed that Alfredo's legs were "purple up to the knees and stiff, with the toes going under." They drove to Madera, where tests revealed injuries inconsistent with accidental trauma.
The father continued to insist Alfredo suffered the injuries in the fall. Investigators, including those from the Kern County Sheriff's Office and Child Protective Services, questioned some of his actions, such as not immediately seeking medical attention and driving all the way to Madera.
The documents said Alfredo's head trauma most likely was the result of "a severe shaking/impact event."