Death of 5-year-old Sun Prairie boy ruled a homicide, homeowners make statement

2013-10-26T11:00:00Z Death of 5-year-old Sun Prairie boy ruled a homicide, homeowners make statementState Journal staff madison.com

The death of a 5-year-old Sun Prairie boy in a suspected case of child abuse has been ruled a homicide.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the child, who died Thursday, as Brayden Turnbill.

Brayden’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy Friday. The Medical Examiner’s Office said additional examinations would continue into next week.

“Our police department, along with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, continues to investigate this incident and continues to place extensive resources into the investigation,” Sun Prairie Assistant Police Chief Scott Faust said Friday.

Faust said the investigation indicates the community is not in danger, and more information would not be forthcoming from the department.

“The release of further details at this time would compromise this ongoing and important investigation,” Faust said.

He would not say if anyone has been arrested in the case.

“We are just getting started on this, and we want to be very thorough,” Faust said.

In an online report Friday, the Sun Prairie newspaper The Star said it had been told by a police lieutenant that a person already detained in connection with an unrelated crime was being eyed as a suspect in the abuse investigation.

An ambulance was called to 1948 Barrington Circle in Sun Prairie at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday. Emergency personnel found the boy with life-threatening injuries, and Sun Prairie Police began a child abuse investigation.

The family who owned the home, Sam and Patricia Garwo, released a statement that said they were unaware of the danger the child was in.

"Just over three and a half weeks ago we opened our home to another family in need," the Garwos said in an email to the Wisconsin State Journal. "At no time did we suspect Brayden or any of our children were in danger. None of our family was home when Brayden was injured and we are fully cooperating with law enforcement. We have three young children who are trying to comprehend what has just happened. 

"At this time we would appreciate our privacy and would hope people and the media would allow our family to heal," the statement read. 

— State Journal reporters Gayle Worland and Ed Treleven and madison.com reporters Bill Novak and Taylor Nye contributed to this report.

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