Investigators continue to conduct interviews, collect evidence in death of 2-month-old

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Investigators said on Tuesday that they were continuing to conduct interviews and collect evidence in the death of a 2-month-old Canyon Country baby, but the preliminary autopsy results have been placed under security hold.  

The baby’s death was reported by the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital last week, and while being investigated by detectives at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, officials are still examining whether the cause of death was natural.  

When the child, who was born on July 31, was taken from a home on the 18000 block of Grace Lane in Canyon Country on Sept. 26, she was reportedly not breathing. 

“Law enforcement has placed a security hold on the case,” Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office, said on Tuesday.  

Lt. Derrick Alfred, who is in charge of investigating the case for the Homicide Bureau, told The Signal on Tuesday that putting a hold on the autopsy results was done in cases of this type while they’re still conducting interviews.  

“Right now, we’re just waiting because there is nothing obvious,” said Alfred. “If it was obvious … that we were investigating a murder, we would tell you that. But right now, it’s just a child death until we hear otherwise.” 

“The doctor can’t determine anything for certain until they do a lot of microscopic examination,” Alfred added. “So, it takes a little while to determine whether this is other than an accidental cause of death or natural causes.”  

In the meantime, detectives are moving forward with talking to family members, talking to neighbors and examining what they find at the scene. 

“We respond to any death investigations involving juveniles, involving kids, because kids don’t generally just die,” the lieutenant said, unless, he added, it’s an obvious “recreational or vehicle accident.”  

Although it is not handled any differently than a criminal investigation, the case remains a death investigation, Alfred said.  

“There’s always determining who was there and talking to them, then if it’s deemed that there is a crime involved, we go from there,” he said, later adding: “Sometimes you have real obvious things and this is just one of those ones that doesn’t. It doesn’t mean it’s one way or the other.” 

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