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Child’s Remains Identified

1/24/2018

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner and Cleveland Police Department Identify Child’s Remains Found on Longmead Avenue




Media contact(s):
Christopher Harris, (216) 443-7157; cbharris@cuyahogacounty.us

CLEVELAND – County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas P. Gilson and Cleveland Police Department Chief Calvin Williams, today announced that a positive identification has been confirmed in the Longmead Avenue case.  

“Today we can confirm the identity of this child, with the help of our media partners, we received information that enabled us to use DNA technology to establish an identification as Eliazar Ruiz,” said Dr. Gilson. “We also gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Linda Spurlock, our forensic reconstruction artist, whose sketches have become a very valuable asset to our work.”  

Investigation Timeline:

September 20, 2017: The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office and Cleveland Police Department responded to 12902 Longmead Avenue, where remains were found in a plastic bag in the backyard of an unoccupied home. Cleveland Police Detectives Kathleen Carlin and Tim Entenok begin to investigate the case and potential leads.

September 21, 2017:  An autopsy is conducted, and a DNA profile is developed by the Parentage & Identification Department at the Medical Examiner’s Office. The autopsy reveals the remains belong to a child.

September 25, 2017: Dr. Linda Spurlock, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Kent State University, examines the skeletal remains to obtain demographic information for a forensic sketch.

October 10, 2017: DNA profile of the decedent determined the decedent’s sex is male, which will be used for comparison with potential matches.

December 6, 2017: The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office and Cleveland Police Department hold a joint press conference with the local media, asking the public for their  assistance in identifying the decedent.  A forensic sketch is released to the media and estimates the child is approximately 4 years old. Race could not be determined at that time. Cause and manner of death are still pending, but the case is being investigated as suspicious.

December 6, 2017: Local media outlets and community partners help distribute the sketch to the public through news stories, social media posts, and billboards.

January 8, 2018: Additional news stories are produced and aired, providing increased visibility for the sketch.

January 9, 2018: A tipster contacts investigators after seeing sketch in the media.

January 19, 2018: Through collaborative investigative efforts between the Medical Examiner’s Office and Cleveland Police Department, a tentative ID was obtained. Furthermore, a positive identification was made through DNA comparison to match:

Eliazar Ruiz
Hispanic Male
Age 4  

“Cases involving child fatalities are extremely sad. Now that Eliazar has been identified, he can be properly laid to rest as he deserves,” said Chief Williams. “This investigation remains in the early stages and no arrests have been made. I’d like to thank the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for their continued partnership, as well as our local media for the coverage on this case.”  

The Medical Examiner’s Office continues to actively investigate the cause and manner of death and will provide additional information when it becomes available.  

Anyone with additional information about this case should contact: Cleveland Police Department, Homicide Unit, (216) 623-5464