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Remains of boy found in bag in backyard of vacant Cleveland home identified

January 24, 2018 GMT

Remains of boy found in bag in backyard of vacant Cleveland home identified

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Investigators on Wednesday identified the remains of a 4-year-old boy four months after a tree pruner discovered his body in bag in the backyard of a vacant home.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner identified the boy as Eliazar Ruiz. No criminal charges have been filed in connection with his death.

No one had reported Eliazar missing, police said. He likely died sometime in the late spring or early summer, the medical examiner said. The medical examiner has not released a cause of death but previously said his death is “extremely suspicious.”

The medical examiner and police embarked on a widespread campaign to try and identify Eliazar, including putting up billboards across the region with a forensic sketch of the boy created by a Kent State anthropology professor.

Police said a tip on Jan. 9 helped investigators to identify the remains as Eliazar. DNA comparison tests confirmed his identity, the medical examiner said.

Investigators are looking into who was responsible for Eliazar at the time of his death and why no one reported him missing.

Eliazar was found Sept. 20 on Longmead Avenue, just east of West 130th Street, officials said.

A man pruning trees that day at a home there found the boy’s skull, arms and legs in a black garbage bag. He cut the bag open with the shears and discovered a complete skeleton, according to police reports.

The house sat vacant for several months after a fire and was being renovated at the time he discovered the bones, neighbors said at the time.

Investigators had entered the boy’s DNA into the national missing person’s database, but no match was found. They also could not find any missing-persons report that matched the boy’s description, which hindered their attempts to identify him.

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