Court documents reveal new details in Iowa City toddler death
Written by Jason Epner, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -
An application for a search warrant filed in Johnson County court Thursday says a preliminary exam of 20-month-old Marcus Balderas saw indications of sexual assault before his death.
Police say the ensuing investigation, however, has shown otherwise.
Further follow up efforts and lab tests could not confirm any such activity.
"I think it was very reasonable for people that made initial observations of Marcus when he presented at the hospital that there may have been a sexual assault. The additional investigation afterwards, however, has determined that that's most likely not the case," said Lt. Doug Hart with the Iowa City Police Department.
The court document says on April 30, Jorge Perez told police he put Marcus down to use the restroom.
According to the document, while he was gone, Marcus began coughing.
When Perez returned, he told police Marcus was passed out.
Police say Perez later admitted to hitting the 20-month-old several times in the head and putting a pillow over his face.
An autopsy found Marcus died from blunt force injuries to the head.
The newly filed document revealed that a DHS worker had observed bruising on the child's face five days earlier.
"From our investigation, there is an apparent history of ongoing, significant abuse," Hart said.
Perez and Marcus' mother, Miyera Balderas have been charged with child endangerment causing death.
A search warrant has been executed on a tribute page for Marcus on the social media site Myspace to learn more.
Police say they believe they have sufficient evidence to make the charges stand up in court.
"I'm very impressed with the work our investigative team has done on the case to hopefully try to bring some resolution to the family," Hart said.
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