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AG, police eye 'suspicious' death of two-year-old Manchester boy

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 11. 2017 5:10PM
A Manchester police cruiser parked outside 551 Howe St., where a two-year-old boy died Monday morning. (Paul Feely/Staff)

MANCHESTER — The Attorney General's office and city police are investigating the suspicious death of a 2-year-old boy in an apartment on Howe Street Monday.

According to Fire Chief Dan Goonan, emergency personnel were dispatched to 551 Howe St. at 11:20 a.m. for a report of a boy in cardiac arrest in a third-floor apartment.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald issued a statement late Monday afternoon saying the child's death appears suspicious. An autopsy is planned for Tuesday.

"It's always difficult for our guys responding to a call like this, especially this time of year," said Goonan. "I know they were shaken up when they came back."

Goonan said he was unable to release additional information, due to the ongoing police investigation.

Two police cruisers could be seen outside the residence at 551 Howe St. into the evening as officers exited the apartment building carrying boxes and plastic bags.

Cheryl Randall, a Florida resident, said the deceased toddler — identified by a source close to the family as a child named Jacob — was her daughter's nephew.

"He was a great kid, very warm and loving," said Randall. "My daughter is having a very hard time with this. Everyone who knew him is devastated. His mother is very loving, just trying to do right by her kids. This is terrible."

Ally Jessie lives a few doors down at 517 Howe St. She said she heard sirens outside her apartment just after 11 a.m. Monday.

"I assumed they were for my neighbor across the street; they have health issues," said Jessie. "Then I came out and saw the police and firefighters up the street."

Jessie said she didn't know the name of the family who lives on the third floor of 551 Howe St. "They have two kids though, ages 2 and 4," said Jessie. "It's terrible. I didn't see them bring the boy out, but I heard he died."

"I saw kids playing outside behind the house," said a second neighbor, who gave his name only as Alex. "They seem like good people. You wonder what happened."

Alex said Howe Street is typically a quiet neighborhood in terms of police activity.

"About the only time we see them here is maybe for loud music," said Alex.

"I moved here in July, and you hardly ever see the police around," said Jessie. "I was talking with a woman moving into our building today, telling her how quiet it is here. This is going to make me look like a liar."

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