Neighbors concerned over suspicious death of eight-year old in St. Joe

NOW: Neighbors concerned over suspicious death of eight-year old in St. Joe

ST. JOSEPH, Mi. -- Around 1:00pm on Tuesday-- Public Safety officers with the St. Joseph Police Department were called out to a home at 705 Columbia Avenue after an eight-year old was found deceased-- the death labeled 'suspicious' by investigators.

Neighbors reported seeing multiple squad cars arrive on the scene-- from St. Joe, the Berrien County Sheriff's Department, and the Michigan State Police Crime Lab. 

One concerned neighbor, who did not want to be recognized, said “I didn’t know what was going on until my wife—this morning—texted me. That’s crazy, you know, to be in St. Joe, right? So close to us.”

The child's body was taken to Western Michigan University Stryker Hospital-- where an autopsy will be conducted.

Michigan Child Protective Services arrived at the property shortly before 1:00pm this afternoon, and spoke with an individual believed to be a resident-- though ABC57 was not able to speak with them. CPS issued no comment. 

While the child's death is considered suspicious, investigators called the incident 'isolated,' and believe there is no ongoing threat to anyone else.

Even so, neighbors are worried.

“It’s kind of scary, man. Especially when they don’t have all the news for you, they just say it’s suspicious. You know, it makes you scared," said the concerned neighbor, who had only just moved with his family onto Columbia Avenue a month ago.

While the eight-year old's death is shocking, he says its perplexing as well.

“I haven’t noticed a lot of kids at all," he said. "I’ve seen kids get off the bus, but I haven’t seen any young kids. I’ve seen teenagers, but I haven’t seen any eight-year olds or ten-year olds. Not on my street.”

That neighbor told me he's keeping a close eye on his own daughter because of what happened.

Other neighbors, who preferred not to speak on camera at all, also had not seen any children around that age near that house before-- despite the current renters having lived there, apparently, for a few years.

St. Joseph Police are still investigating, and ABC57 will continue to provide updates.

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