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4-Year-Old Dead; Police Suspect Long-Term Abuse

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Pictured is the Gardner home in Highland Park (WWJ Photo/Mike Campbell).

Pictured is the Gardner home in Highland Park (WWJ Photo/Mike Campbell).

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HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) – Highland Park Police are investigating what they believe is a severe case of abuse that led to the the death of a four-year-old boy.

Police said the boy had been physically abused and burned, and had bedsores, bruises and cuts from a razor blade.

At least four other boys lived at the home on California Street, including the four-year-old’s brother. According to police, they were in the care of their aunt because their mother died a few years ago.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with neighbor Regina Thompson as she was leaving to drive her teenage sons to school.

“I just thought it was a normal family. They’d only been there less than three months. To even… to hurt a kid, a four-year-old… come on now. I don’t even understand it,” Thompson said.

The aunt and her boyfriend have been arrested.

The children who lived in the home are now in protective custody.

Stay with WWJ for more on this story.

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