Family speaks out after learning about 15-month-old's homicide

WALNUT HILLS (FOX19) - The family of a 15-month-old baby is speaking out after learning that his recent death is now being investigated as a homicide. Elijah Obrecht Jr. died in July.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office is not releasing the autopsy report yet, but they said the injuries the child suffered are consistent with a homicide.

For the past four months the family has been trying to cope with the sudden loss 15-month-old Elijah Obrecht Jr., known to the family as E.J.

"When I'd walk into that room. I don't care if you was having the best or worst day that baby boy made you smile," said Dawn Brown, E.J.'s paternal aunt.

Brown said that joy was suddenly gone on July, 5. That's when police said the unresponsive 15-month old was taken to Christ Hospital's emergency room and died soon after.

"We were under the understanding that it was something wrong with E.J.'s heart over these past few months. We've accepted that," said Brown.

On Monday, she learned police are now considering E.J.'s death as homicide.

"This whole family was shook. We knew none of that. They say there's bruising around his ears, what he picked up the baby by his ears, was he squeezed? I mean what," asked Brown.

They are waiting for more answers about what happened.

Brown said E.J. was in the care of his mother and her boyfriend when the mother drove the toddler to the hospital from a home in Walnut Hills.

"When they said it was his heart I figured it was murmur but things just didn't make up. Stories kept changing and I said the man upstairs it will prevail," said Brown.

She said she won't be whole again until the truth comes out.

"That's something hard to deal with losing a child when you get to spend 15 months with him and then one day their just taken from you. I want justice for E.J.," said Brown.

FOX19 NOW spoke with E.J's maternal grandfather. He said he was also shocked when he heard that the death has been ruled as homicide. He did not want to do an interview, but said that his family is currently meeting with their lawyer.

No charges have been filed in this case yet, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.

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