Howard County police said Monday, Aug. 1 that the mother of an asphyxiated three-year-old Columbia boy and the mother's boyfriend are being uncooperative with their murder investigation and police are offering a reward up to $5,000 for information in the case.
On Thursday, July 28, police ruled the April death of Elijah Izeal LaJeuness a homicide after receiving an autopsy report from the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, according to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.
According to police, the boy's mother called authorities at approximately 4 a.m. on April 13 to report that the child was not breathing. Authorities responded to the residence — in the 9600 block of Basket Ring Road — and transported the child to Howard County General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.
Police have determined that at the time the boy was found unresponsive, there were three other people in the residence: LaJeuness' mother, her boyfriend and an 8-year-old sibling. Police declined to release their names.
Llewellyn said police would not release details about how the couple was being uncooperative, citing an on-going investigation. She also said she didn't know if a search warrant had been issued to inspect the residence.
Police said they found no signs of forced entry and no indications that anyone else was in the residence. Additionally, the autopsy report concluded that LaJeuness had no medical conditions that contributed to his death.
The child's death was the first homicide this year in Howard County. The stabbing death of a 17-year-old Long Reach teen on July 27 was the second.
Last year, there were five homicides in Howard County — four of which were domestic related. The other was when an inmate killed another inmate at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, in Jessup.