BUFFALO, NY-- The Erie County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a three-year-old child.
Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard says deputies received a first aid call to a home on Sulphur Springs Road on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation for a three-year-old not breathing.
The child, Gage Seneca, was taken to Lakeshore Hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy discovered that Gage died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Deputies have charged the boyfriend of the child's mother with murder in connection to the death.
Justin Crouse, 30 of Salamanca pled not guilty at his arraignment. He is being held at the Erie County Holding Center. Crouse is not the father of the child.
Investigators believe that Crouse had gotten up around 1am Tuesday morning and encountered Gage. They say Crouse allegedly struck Gage and then put him back to bed. He was found not breathing around 8:15am by the his mother and grandmother, who performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Investigators say Gage had been dead for several hours.
There were two other children in the home at the time, they were not hurt.