1-year-old dies due to child abuse, officials say

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-03 10:28:38-05

SALT LAKE CITY – A one-year-old boy is dead, and police said he was the victim of severe child abuse.

Xander Toliver turned one while he was on life support at Primary Children’s Hospital. He was taken off life support Thursday just after 5:30 p.m.

It’s still unclear what exactly happened to the child, but police and family members said the mother’s boyfriend is to blame. Cops said the baby boy suffered “major head trauma” Monday at the hands of 24-year-old Brian Taylor, who lived with the boy and his mother in the basement of a Salt Lake City home.

The child’s great-grandmother talked to FOX 13 News the day of the incident.

“We heard screaming downstairs,” Carolyn Crawford said. “That’s where they slept and ran down there, and first thing I saw him laying on the floor. I thought he was dead then, but they were doing compressions on the chest and he started breathing.”

She said Brian Taylor performed CPR on Xander, who was unconscious and someone called 911. Paramedics took the boy to Primary Children’s Hospital, and doctors called police Monday afternoon.  Family members suspect Xander suffered from shaken baby syndrome, but they aren’t sure and want answers. They’re heartbroken.

“He was so darling, he was getting lots of cute expressions,” Crawford said. “He was just beginning to wave bye-bye. I’m just thinking it’s all so useless.  Why take a darling baby that didn’t harm anybody and destroy him?  And that’s what he’s done.”

Xander’s great aunt talked with FOX 13 News Thursday night and was in tears.  She said there was nothing traumatic that preceded the incident, and she didn’t feel comfortable talking about the details of what happened but wants Brian Taylor held accountable.

He’s currently in the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of child abuse, but Salt Lake City police tweeted Thursday night that Taylor’s charges will likely be enhanced.