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Man charged with killing girlfriend’s 5-year-old son in NW Indiana

An autopsy found the 5-year-old boy died of blunt force trauma to his head and torso and had a ruptured left lung, according to prosecutors.

A Homewood man is charged with murder for the April 16, 2020, death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son in Schererville, Indiana.
A Homewood man is charged with murder for the April 16, 2020, death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son in Schererville, Indiana.
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A south suburban man has been charged with killing his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son this week in northwest Indiana.

Michael J. Tunstall, 26, is charged with one count of murder and one count of aggravated battery, both felonies, according to documents filed Friday in the Superior Court of Lake County, Indiana.

Authorities were called to investigate the boy’s death Thursday at his mother’s Schererville home, according to court records. Investigators found bruising and bite marks on the child’s body.

Tunstall initially told police the boy woke up from a nap vomiting and became unresponsive when Tunstall put him in the bathtub, according to court documents.

When asked about the bruising and bite marks, Tunstall told investigators he hadn’t noticed any bruising on the child but said he had played a “bite game” with the boy to get him to calm down earlier in the day.

An autopsy found the boy died of blunt force trauma to his head and torso and had a ruptured left lung, according to prosecutors. The injuries appeared to have been inflicted within four hours of the last time he was fed, with the most serious occurring an hour before his death.

Further investigation revealed Tunstall was the only adult near the boy at the time he was killed, as the child’s mother was at work at the time, according to court records.

Tunstall, who lives in south suburban Homewood, remains in custody at the Lake County Jail without bail, according to court records.

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