It's been more than three years since a 21-month-old boy died from a fractured skull while under the care of his mother's then-boyfriend. Authorities believed something was afoot, and on Wednesday the boyfriend was put in cuffs for the boy's murder.
On Dec. 2, a Broward County grand jury indicted Ricardo Morales for first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse after being presented with the investigation into the boy's death. He was arrested by Hollywood Police detectives and U.S. Marshals five days later.
Back in April 2019, Hollywood Police were called to a home in the area of 59 Pierce Street, according to an affidavit written at the time. Morales, a 38-year-old Pembroke Pines man, was performing CPR on the boy when officers arrived, taking over until Hollywood Fire Rescue got there.
The boy was on life support - suffering from a skull fracture, fractured rib and brain bleed - before he was declared brain dead and his mother decided to take him off ventilators as she "did not want to torture the child by keeping him on a machine," the report read.
Morales initially told officers the child had fallen twice at the home before throwing up and becoming unresponsive. However, Dr. Jason Shulman, the medical director for Child Protective Services, told detectives Morales' story and the boy's injuries did not match up.
"Shulman specifically states that falls from such a short distance would not produce the multiple brain bleeds noted in the child's brain," the report read.
He went on to say the rib fracture is an indicator for abuse, which he believes the boy had experienced at least twice.
The boy's mother told officers that Morales was drunk the morning of the incident but she still needed him to watch him as she headed to work. When she left, she told detectives her child had no bruises or injuries on him.