Roseville chief says 4-year-old's death was 'no accident'

The chief of the Roseville Police Department said on Monday that the death of a 4-year-old girl who died from trauma to her abdomen was not an accident.

Ivy Yurkus, 4, died last week after she was rushed to the hospital with stomach pain on Wednesday. The next day, she was dead her death has been ruled a homicide.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner says Ivy died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen. According to Police Chief James Berlin, this wasn't an accident.

"The ME's office says no, this had to have been a purposeful blow by somebody and this is not the result of an accident or simple fall or anything along those lines," Berlin said.

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The child lived with her seven-year-old brother and infant sister, along with their 28-year-old mother and her mom's 25-year-old boyfriend at a home on Galloway in Roseville.

According to sources, Ivy complained of a stomachache and became unresponsive on Wednesday. The sources say the boyfriend loaded the children into the car and drove them to their mom, who works at a nearby restaurant. EMS was then called and rushed the girl to St. John's Moross hospital.

"Originally when she was being transported, I believe they thought she was having some type of seizure or medical episode, and they didn't realize until the doctors actually started looking at her that they felt it was some type of child abuse taking place," Berlin said.

It's unclear why the boyfriend didn't call 911 or drive the children to the fire department which was half of a mile away.

The day after she was taken to the hospital, the little girl died. On Friday, the devastating news was revealed in the autopsy that the girl's death was a homicide.

"A blow of quite some significance or power was applied to this little girl," Berlin said.

Roseville police say they have not interviewed Ivy's mom or her mom's boyfriend but they are talking to attorneys for both. A specialist will be brought in to interview Ivy's older brother.

Sources say police and fire have responded to the home in the past - including once when Ivy became dehydrated. The chief says the boyfriend has no criminal record. A search of court records reveals the mom has done time for robbery, resisting or obstructing a police officer, and possession of a controlled substance.

Berlin promises that his department will figure out what happened.

"Beyond tragic - I just can't imagine how anyone could strike a child in such a way to cause such catastrophic injuries," he said. "We have the best detectives in the county and we will find out who did this."

Ivy will be laid to rest on Tuesday. Her siblings have all been taken into protective custody and have been placed with relatives.