Skip to main content

Minneapolis police continue to investigate the "suspicious death" of a 2-year-old boy, but while the toddler's death has not yet been ruled a homicide, the boy's mother has been arrested and charged with two counts of malicious punishment of another of her children. 

Warning: Details in this story are upsetting. 

According to charges, 25-year-old Navonna L. West was found attempting to perform CPR on her 2-year-old boy, who was not breathing when police arrived to an apartment on the 2400 block of Oakland Avenue on Wednesday evening. 

Medics rushed the child to the hospital, but he did not survive. 

According to the criminal complaint, responding officers observed "numerous injuries" to the boy's body, "including bruising and scratches." The medial examiner who conducted an autopsy reported blunt force injuries that were in various stages of healing, noting that the boy's death could have been caused by "inflicted trauma," but pending toxicology results are required before ruling out any other cause of death. 

The toddler's 4-month-old brother was also suffering from extreme injuries. According to the charges, the baby boy was examined at a hospital and found to be suffering from bruising, scabbing, possible lesions, a large burn that may have been from chemicals, burn marks on his back, blood in his right eye, scarring on the bridge of his nose, and loss of pigmentation on the side of his head. 

The infant was treated by a pediatrician who specializes in child abuse. The pediatrician found that the baby was also suffering from multiple broken ribs and fluid in his abdomen, in addition to a test result showing he had been exposed to fentanyl. 

West told investigators that no one else was ever alone with her children, though she is accused of attempting to "deny or minimize" the injuries to her children. 

A witness told investigators of an alleged incident where West laughed while her 2-year-old boy was eating cigarette ashes. 

She has been charged with two counts of malicious punishment of a child.

Next Up

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."

Nero

The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.

MPR

APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist killed in Ham Lake after passing in the turn lane

The motorcyclist was hit by a car turning onto the road.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota gets cut of Ford settlement over misleading ads

The $19.2 million settlement centers on Ford's C-Max hybrid and Super Duty pickup truck.

Related

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

MPD investigating 'suspicious death' of 2-year-old boy

The 2-year-old's infant brother was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

police tape

Teen charged with murder of 2-year-old in Mankato

The boy was found unresponsive and died April 16.

Screen Shot 2021-01-12 at 8.00.32 AM

Charges: St. Paul woman beat 2-year-old daughter to death

The 29-year-old admitted to losing her temper, saying she kept hitting the girl.

Queenetta McDaniel

Maplewood woman charged for 3-year-old son's fatal overdose

The boy was 3 years, 8 months old when he died.

Reggie Bethel

Charges: Boy, 11, died after horrific assault at hands of MN man

The 11-year-old boy died days after being airlifted to a hospital in Fargo.

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.