MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities are investigating the death of a St. Bonifacious toddler, whose death has been ruled a homicide.

On Feb. 10, 2012, authorities were dispatched to 19-month-old Cottrell Short’s home on the 3700 block of Hillview Lane. He died the next day at the Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia, Minn.

At the time of his death, family friends said they did not know what happened to Short. When a reporter knocked on the door of the home, he was asked to leave the property. But the details released by the Medical Examiner Friday shifted the nature of the investigation.

“This little boy suffered a horrible, horrible death,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

The Medical Examiner says Cottrell’s death was a result of many causes, including sepsis from burn, hemoperitoneum, peritonitis, abdominal and head injuries (including skull fracture and hemorrhages). The injuries were due to neglect and multiple debilitating injuries of varying ages.

Cottrell had other significant injuries, including multiple fractures in the wrist, rib, leg, elbow, and shoulder, multiple cutaneous injuries to head, torso and extremities of varying ages as well as elevated sedative medication.

“If I had known, maybe there was something I could have done. But you don’t know those things. You hear loud noises but that happened all the time and it’s expected when with 13 people living there. It’s a very sad story and I hope justice is served for that little baby,” said neighbor Susan Bloomquist.

On March 23, 2012, authorities arrested Short’s mother, 27-year-old Shacara Tennell Foster. She’s been charged with felony neglect and is currently in custody at the Hennepin County Jail. She’s being held without bail on a probation violation.

The death is being investigated by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnetrista Public Safety Department and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

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