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A 2-year-old child was found dead inside a Maryland home on Saturday, and now a 12-year-old boy has been charged with murder.
The 12-year-old, who has not been named by media outlets due to his age, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, Inside Edition reported.
Few details are known at this time, but the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release published on Tuesday that deputies responded to a call from Salisbury, Maryland, on September 16 about the death of a 2-year-old, who is also not being named. Inside Edition reported that the call was about a child not breathing at a home on Jack Drive. The child was pronounced dead inside the home.
Detectives from the Wicomico County Child Advocacy Center also responded and conducted an investigation, speaking to caregivers in the home about the circumstances surrounding the incident. That investigation led to charges against a 12-year-old child who resides in the same home as the deceased toddler. It is unclear at this time if the two are related.
The 12-year-old was arrested and taken to the Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center, where he is currently being held.
It is unclear at this time how the toddler died and whether the “caregivers” mentioned in the press release are the parents of one or both children.
The home is located in Salisbury, about 30 miles from Maryland’s popular beach town Ocean City, Newsweek reported. It has one of the highest crime rates in America, with a crime rate of 45 per 1,000 residents. For reference, Chicago, Illinois, has a crime rate of 33 per 1,000 residents.
The Daily Mail added that Captain Mark Wagner of the Sheriff’s Office told them it has not been decided whether the preteen will be tried as an adult or a juvenile.
The outlet also noted that, if convicted, a murderer could face life in prison without the possibility of parole, but law also specifies that the convicted must be at least 14 years old to be sentenced as an adult.