INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 21, 2014) – Police arrested an Indianapolis couple in connection with the death of a 1-year-old boy last month.
On Oct. 29, Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers arrived at an apartment in the 2700 block of Barbary Lane where they found Elijah Polk, 1, unresponsive. The child was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Police ruled the case a homicide. According to the probable cause affidavit, the boy died from complications due to blunt force trauma to the abdomen.
On Thursday, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against Frank Larkins III, 26, and Diamond Miller, 19, in connection with the boy’s death.
Larkins was charged with murder, aggravated battery, battery resulting in death of a person less than 14 years old, neglect of a dependent resulting in death and battery on a person less than 14 years old.
Miller, the boy’s mother, was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury.
Police said Larkins is Miller’s boyfriend.
According to court documents, the Monday before he died, Elijah wouldn’t eat. On Tuesday, his symptoms got worse and he vomited 8-10 times. Despite the symptoms, Miller failed to call 911 or her child’s pediatrician despite performing several internet searches on what to do with a child exhibiting Elijah’s symptoms. The boy wouldn’t eat food and always seemed thirsty.
Court documents also said the couple “went out to the car to smoke marijuana” together at some point in the day Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Oct. 29, Miller said the boy was moaning and was still sick. She then noticed he was sick and not breathing. When medics arrived, they found him pale. His body was cold and he had swelling on the left side of his face and jaw, court documents said.
A doctor who examined Elijah said his injuries could not have resulted from a fall or normal “play” with other children. “Had Elijah been taken to medical attention immediately and information provided regarding what happened to him, it is likely that he would have survived,” the doctor concluded.
The doctor also said “Elijah’s history of petechiae on his neck, facial bruising, lower leg fractures with an unusual explanation and delay in seeking care, and the unexplained healing rib fracture all suggest Elijah had sustained prior incidents of physical abuse.”
The boy’s biological father had warned Larkins not to lay a hand on his child, court documents said. Investigators concluded that Larkins caused the injuries (described as a lacerated pancreas and/or lacerated duodenum) that resulted in the boy’s death. Larkins and Miller didn’t seek much needed medical care for the boy, investigators said.
Both are being held at the Marion County Jail.
Carlishia Reilly remembers what she saw the morning of October 29th outside this apartment on Barbary Lane.
“I saw the police over there and the coroner van over there. It was pretty devastating.”
Reilly’s daughter Drea is one.
“It is very sad and very heartbreaking to know what happened. I just pray for our children. I think parents need to understand that kids are a blessing. They needed to be treated that way. They don`t deserve to be hurt or punished or abused.”
Elijah’s family held his funeral earlier this week.