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A Florida man was arrested and charged in the murder of a 23-month-old toddler he was babysitting while the mother of the child was at work, according to police.

Lakeland Police Chief Sammy Taylor told reporters on Monday that 20-year-old Bobby Curry was arrested on Friday and charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

Officers with the department were dispatched to a residence on Kansas Avenue at 5:25 p.m. on March 5, for reports of an unresponsive child.

When officers arrived, they found 23-month-old Ezekiel Cotto Saint Fleur on the floor of the bathroom, unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse.

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The officers immediately began performing CPR on the child until emergency medical crews arrived and took over. The crews transported Ezekiel to two different hospitals as he suffered from critical injuries, and at around 5 p.m. on March 8, he died.

When police were called on March 5, the child was being watched by Curry, who lived at the residence with the child’s mother.

Taylor said Curry was alone with the child while the mother was at work. Both Curry and the mother had been in a relationship for about 4 months and lived together for about 2 weeks, the chief said.

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Lakeland Police vehicle

Curry, though, is not Ezekiel’s biological father.

When Curry spoke to detectives, he allegedly said that between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., he gave Ezekiel a bath because he had urinated in his bed. As Curry took the child out of the bath, he said, one of the puppies leaped onto the child and caused Ezekiel to fall backward, hit his head on the bathtub and then on the floor. The chief also said the puppy weighed about 15-20 pounds.

Curry told detectives he moved the child, who was still breathing, to his bed to rest, then at about 3:15 p.m., he went back to check on the child and he was barely breathing.

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Police tape

Curry allegedly put the child back in the bathroom and began giving chest compressions, when at one point Ezekiel began gasping for air. Still, Curry never called 911.

Instead, at 3:20, he contacted the child’s mother through an Instagram message and let her know her son was suffering from severe physical difficulties. Curry then asked in an Instagram message if it was possible for a child to go into cardiac arrest.

Curry and Ezekiel’s mother exchanged 67 messages until about 5:25, when the mother told him to call 911.

Medical professionals said Curry’s account of how the child was injured was not consistent with their findings or the severity of the injuries.

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Instead, medical professionals suggest the injuries reflect they came from physical abuse, Taylor said.

The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office found the cause of death was blunt-force trauma.

Once the cause of death was revealed, police obtained a warrant and arrested Curry for first-degree murder and child abuse last Friday.

“I believe that he was frustrated, and he either used something or pushed the child, did something to the child to cause injuries to the front [or] top portion, to the extent that he had some fatal injuries to the top of his head,” Taylor said. “Whether he used an instrument or took his face and pushed it into something, we just don’t know.”

Taylor also took issue with the amount of time it took Curry to call 911.

“There’s absolutely no reason,” Taylor said. “I get that he’s probably overwhelmed; there’s at least two puppies in the house, he’s only 20 years old; I get all that.

“But common sense will tell you, and just being a human being will tell you, if another human is in distress, you pick the phone up,” the chief added.

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