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Police investigating suspicious death of 2-year-old boy

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Posted at 8:50 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-05 23:53:21-04

CACHE COUNTY, Utah -- A small memorial for 2-year-old Eli Rutchey now rests outside his home in River Heights, the center of a police crime scene.

“It makes me really sad. I have children, too. So, it’s close to home,” said Amelia Bigler, who lives nearby.

Rutchey’s body was found inside his mother’s apartment Wednesday afternoon, and what transpired in the hours before his death is still a mystery to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s not a normal situation,” said Lt. Chad Jensen, Cache County Sheriff's Office. “In 22 years, this is the first time this has happened in my career.”

According to police, Rutchey is the one who prompted them to do a welfare check at the home after she showed up at Logan Regional Hospital Wednesday afternoon and made comments to staff that suggested Eli was not okay.

“They went inside, secured the home and found the child dead inside the house,” Lt. Jensen said.

Authorities spent much of Thursday scouring her apartment for any clues that could explain what happened in the hours before Eli’s body was found.

“We need to look for anything,” Jensen said, “Is there any blood in the house? Are there any instruments in the house? Are there drugs in the house, alcohol in the house, anything that could have caused this child to die?”

Autopsy results, according to police, showed no obvious signs of trauma, but authorities are hoping the pathology and toxicology results will shed more light on what happened.

Lt. Jensen said shortly after police began interviewing Rutchey at the hospital Wednesday evening, she requested an attorney.

“It makes it certainly more difficult because we need to ask questions that she won’t give us the answers to. So, in one respect it makes our case really hard,” Lt. Jensen said.

Rutchey was taken to Intermountain Medical Center for an undisclosed medical condition, but is said to be doing fine.