Crime & Courts

Toddler's death under investigation for possible abuse

TERENGGANU: A one-year-five-month-old baby boy is believed to have died while under the care of his mother's male friend.

Besut district police chief, Superintendent Abdul Rozak Muhammad, said police received a report from the Kampung Raja Health Clinic yesterday (Nov 8), informing them that the victim had died at the clinic.

He said the clinic found the victim unconscious with bruise marks on several parts of the body.

"Further investigation revealed that the child was believed to have been entrusted to a male friend of his mother for care on Nov 7 at around 4pm and returned to the victim's mother on Nov 8 at around 7.30am.

"The 27-year-old woman, who is a single mother, was arrested to assist in the investigation and will be remanded today.

"The police are also trying to locate the male suspect," he said in a statement today.

Rozak said based on the autopsy results, the cause of the victim's death was determined to be a small intestine leak.

"However, the cause of the small intestine leak has not been confirmed, whether it was due to trauma or bacterial infection, and samples are needed to be sent to the laboratory.

"The case is being investigated under Section 31 (1) of the Child Act 2001, which includes abuse, neglect, abandonment, or exposure of a child, and can be punishable by a fine not exceeding RM 20,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or both.

"The public with information about the case can contact the Besut district police headquarters at 09-6956222," he said.

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