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Toddler’s autopsy ongoing

Results could be released today

Posted: July 24, 2008 1:41 a.m.
Updated: September 24, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
Trying to determine what caused the death of a Canyon Country toddler Monday, the county Coroner’s Office is expected to release its findings today.

The autopsy scheduled to be performed on the tiny body of Jack Roscoe Winchester, found dead in his family’s minivan, took longer than expected Tuesday.

Coroner’s Office Capt. Ed Winter told The Signal on Wednesday at about 1:30 p.m. that the autopsy was ongoing.

“The autopsy is going on today and I don’t have the results yet,” he said.

Winter, who had initially hoped to have a determination as to the child’s cause of death by noon Wednesday, is now hoping to have those results Thursday morning.

Investigators with the Homicide Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continue to treat the case as a possible homicide.

“It’s still ongoing so I really can’t comment too much,” said Sgt. Joe Espino, one of the detectives assigned to the case.

The delay meant another night of anguish for friends and family of the boy’s young mother.

“She is not going to be charged,” said a woman who phoned The Signal and identified herself as a teacher who taught the toddler and who had nothing but praise for the mother.

“I taught this boy,” she said. “I feel terrible. To take her into custody would do nothing.

“Her life is already in hell,” said the woman, who hung up after breaking down sobbing on the phone.

On Monday night, at 9:22 p.m., Jack Winchester’s mother sat in the passenger seat of a sheriff’s cruiser and was driven away for further questioning.

The woman, according to sheriff’s Lt. Dave Dolson, had been out shopping and running errands Monday when she returned home and two of her three children entered the house with her.

After some time, the woman looked for her youngest son, aged 23 months, but could not find him in the house.

When she looked inside the family’s red minivan she found her youngest son, Jack Roscoe Winchester, strapped into a car seat.

Ambulance and emergency crews were first seen by neighbors at the house at about 4 p.m.

The news has shaken residents of this tree-lined suburban street in Canyon Country.

Friends, family, strangers and public officials remain rocked by the news.

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