CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A new autopsy report shows a 2-year-old boy found floating in a pond at Park Road Park died by drowning, and investigators believe that his death may have been intentional.
According to the report, Jonathan Suero had healing abrasions on his forehead and left foot, as well as fluid in his lungs. The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Suero died due to drowning in a pond due to undetermined causes.
Two passersby found Suero floating in the water with no one nearby and approached an off-duty officer. Around the same time, 29-year-old Natalia Suero, the boy’s mother, also approached the officer. She told investigators that she entered the water to find Jonathan and then left the pond to seek help.
Investigators believe Natalia Suero did not try to get help prior to two people locating her son in the water. She reportedly left the scene prior to EMS arriving and was later found at her apartment.
Reports show that Jonathan Suero was possibly in the water for around 30 minutes or longer. The temperature of the pond was around 56 degrees Fahrenheit, and Suero’s body temperature when examined at a local hospital was just around 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Warming procedures were initiated during transport to the hospital, but mild rigor mortis had already begun to set in on the child’s jaw. MEDIC pronounced the child dead.
In a search warrant, detectives said Natalia Suero gave ‘vague and inconsistent statements’ about what happened. She told officers she ‘blacked out’ and was unable to give them a timeline.
During an interview with CMPD, Natalia Suero said she left her phone at her apartment. Detectives said they analyzed Suero’s phone data and found the location services were off, but the phone was on at the time of the incident.
An aquatics expert was brought in and advised Suero’s story was not supported by science, specifically that the victim was floating and face up, the warrant indicated.
Investigators believe there was neglect in the boy’s safety, and that the death was intentional. The manner of death remains undetermined at this time.