Man charged with neglect of a dependent in death of Elwood toddler

Jacob Wootton (Mug shot from previous arrest in March of 2018)

ELWOOD, Ind. – Elwood police have arrested a man in connection with the death of a toddler.

Officers announced Thursday night that 26-year-old Jacob Wootton was taken into custody on charges of neglect of a dependent (resulting in death), invasion of privacy, resisting law enforcement, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia class.

Police began investigating the toddler’s death last Friday when officers were called to a home in the 2700 block of South K Street to investigate a report of an unresponsive child. When officers arrived, they immediately began preforming CPR until EMS arrived.

Sadly, police say the child, around 2 years old, was pronounced dead Monday morning.

Wednesday, the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office said the toddler’s preliminary cause of death appears to be blunt force trauma.

“Impact to the child’s body that resulted in death, the kind of impact and trauma that children that age should not experience,” Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said.

Unfortunately, this is far from the first death of a young child to come across Cummings’ desk. He said there have been four children this year who have lived in or have ties to Madison County who have died from overdose, abuse or neglect.

“It’s heartbreaking, it makes you angry and it’s heartbreaking,” he said.

Cummings reminds people if they see something, especially involving children, that doesn’t look right, to contact police or report it.

Police are continuing the investigation. Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine released the following statement:

The young child’s  death was a tragedy for the Elwood community. Our hearts go out to the family and friends.  Our officers, who have children of their own, also took this hard. I would like to express the pride I have in this department and the officers’ dedication and strenuous work they have put into this case.

From the initial call where Officer Branson preformed CPR, until an arrest was made and the still ongoing investigation, I would like to thank the ISP Crime Scene Unit, Madison County Prosecutor’s Office and all of EMS Services for their assistance.