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Toddler's death remains a mystery

RIVER CITY Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - An autopsy did not reveal any clues as to how a two year old's died.
RIVER CITY Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – The cause of a two year olds death still baffles investigators.
Wednesday, Cache County sheriff deputies responded to welfare check at a home in River City which neighbors Logan.

“When deputies got out here, out to the apartment they found the child had been deceased inside the apartment,” says Lt. Chad Jensen of the Cache County sheriff’s office.

Police don’t know how long baby Eli had been dead. Police were called by hospital officials to do a check on the toddler after his mother, Heidi Rutchey checked herself into the hospital.

An autopsy Thursday didn’t offer investigators any new insights into the toddler’s death.

“Right now it's an undetermined caused of death that's the biggest questions all of us still have,” says Lt. Jensen. “(There’s) nothing obvious that would have caused the child's death.”

Neighbors last saw the two year old with his mother on Labor Day. By Wednesday he was dead.

“It's just bad business,” says Nash Cleaveland who claims to know Rutchey. “No matter how you cut it's just ugly business.”

Other neighbors saw the commotion at the apartment complex and noticed law enforcement had surrounded the home. They soon realized something was wrong.

"There was one cop that was hunched over and could tell that he was crying and I knew immediately that something had happened to the little boy," says Amelia Bigeler.

Neighbors say Rutchey loved Baby Eli and took him daily on strolls around the neighborhood.

“She loved that kid,” says Natayla Allyse. “She was always with the baby. I mean that seemed to be the focus of her life.”

Cleaveland says he’s known Rutchey for several years and can’t believe it’s anything but an accident.

“All I can imagine is that it was an accident because she lived for her baby,” says Cleaveland. “Every time she bumped into somebody she'd say look what I made, this is mine."

Lt. Jensen says Rutchey remains hospitalized and was transported to a Salt Lake hospital. They plan to interview her in an attempt to learn more about how the baby died.

“Right now anything is still a possibility, whether it's a horrific accident or a horrific crime, it just depends on what the investigation shows,” says Lt. Jensen.
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