Man charged with murder in toddler's death

A man faces several charges including first-degree murder following the death of a southern Alberta toddler.

A man faces several charges including first-degree murder following the death of a southern Alberta toddler.

An ambulance rushed the boy to hospital with traumatic head injuries on Tuesday afternoon, after receiving a call about a child needing medical assistance at a home in Medicine Hat.

The child, who can't be named due to a publication ban, was pronounced dead after arriving in the local hospital's emergency room.

Tjaye Heller, 31, was arrested for breaching the conditions of a release on an unrelated charge. He is not related to the child.

Heller appeared in provincial court on Thursday by video conferencing and was charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault, sexual interference and improperly interfering with human remains. He remains in custody.

A preliminary autopsy on the child is complete, said Insp. Rick Wigle on Thursday morning.

"The services major crime and forensic investigators are gathering evidence in relation to this tragic crime," he said. "The Medicine Hat Police Service will not be releasing any further details of the matter at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation."