A four-year-old Keizer boy’s death was ruled a homicide Tuesday afternoon, and his stepfather is in jail on manslaughter charges.
Authorities allege the man pushed the young boy down a flight of stairs, then played video games for more than an hour before seeking medical help despite injuries to the child’s head.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office stated Sebastian Iturbe, 4, died of blunt force trauma to the head. Dr. Larry Lewman stated the death was a homicide.
A statement Tuesday from Keizer Police stated the boy lived at Hawk’s Point Apartments at 1220 McGee Court NE in north Keizer with his mother, 27-year-old Erika Iturbe Colin, stepfather Gerardo Chavavirra Pinzon and his 13-month old sister.
Pinzon is charged with manslaughter and is in the Marion County Correctional Facility. Additional charges may be forthcoming, police said.
According to a probable cause statement from Keizer Police detectives, the suspect initially told authorities the child fell off a step leading to their apartment and hit his head. However, according to Det. Vaughn Edsall, the suspect later changed his story.
Police said the suspect had his hands full while returning to their basement apartment and asked Sebastian to carry something. Sebastian became angry and stopped at the top of a flight of stairs, Edsall wrote in his statement. The suspect then pushed the boy, police said, causing him to fall down 17 stairs and land at the bottom clutching his head. His head struck several stairs as he fell, police said.
According to police, the suspect carried Sebastian inside and put him on a couch, then took him to bed, and went to play video games on his Playstation.
After about an hour and a half he found Sebastian breathing but unresponsive in his bed. The stepfather admitted the boy into Salem Hospital at about 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, with what the attending physician called life-threatening injuries. Doctors there performed emergency surgery, and subsequently sent Sebastian to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
He was pronounced dead at 9:45 p.m. Sunday, November 6.
Keizer Police are asking anyone who may have seen or heard anything unusual or suspicious in the morning or afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 5 – or at Country Glen Park during the same time period – to call Keizer Police. Police believe the suspect may have taken the two children to the park that day to play with remote control toy cars.