Sep. 19—Police arrested a Kokomo man recently in connection to the April 2021 death of a 10-month-old boy.
Tyler Groleau is facing charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, both Level 1 felonies, and officials say he is currently being held in Michigan while he awaits extradition back to Howard County.
Further charging information alleges Groleau "did knowingly place" the boy in a situation that "endangered the dependent's life or heath" and "failed to seek or provide timely medical treatment" to the infant, per court records.
Groleau's charges stem from an incident that occurred on or around April 25, 2021, inside a residence in the 1600 block of Rue Royale North — which belonged to the boy's mother, Nicole Groleau — police reports noted at the time.
That day, authorities were taken into a rear den area, where they observed 10-month-old Ace Groleau lying on the floor with only a diaper on, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Police also observed "bruises to Ace's forehead and the sides of his face and temple area," according to a probable cause affidavit, as well as "bruising under the child's chin and neck area that looked like fingerprints."
The child was transported to an area hospital, where the nurses on scene also pointed out "suspicious bruising," with several of the bruises appearing to be in various stages of healing, while others appeared to be as fresh as one or two days old, court documents noted.
The child was pronounced deceased later that day, and a subsequent autopsy noted that the infant had sustained multiple internal injuries, per court records, such as bleeding on the brain and contusions of the head, face, neck and chest.
During the investigation, authorities learned that Tyler Groleau — whose direct relationship to the child was not publicly given in the affidavit — had been babysitting the child periodically when the boy's mother went to work.
Tyler reportedly told investigators that he had been staying with Nicole and would normally sleep in the den, per the affidavit.
And it was in that same den that Tyler said he was babysitting Ace on April 25, 2021, when the infant began to fall asleep, the probable cause affidavit stated.
Tyler added that he reportedly then swaddled the boy in a plush blanket and rested his head on some clothing so that he wouldn't sink into the couch cushions, noting that this was the typical sleeping arrangement, according to court documents.
At some point in time, according to Tyler's police interview, the baby reportedly woke up and started "gurgling" and was struggling to breathe, the affidavit stated.
Tyler reportedly told authorities that when this happened, he attempted to contact Nicole and then Nicole's boyfriend, who told Tyler to call 911.
During a search of the room in which Ace was found, investigators ended up locating several drug paraphernalia items, including a "meth pipe" containing burnt residue on the couch where the infant was supposedly placed, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The affidavit added that investigators also located a clear plastic bag and aluminum foil on or near the couch and Tyler reportedly admitted that those items — except for the "meth pipe" — belonged to him.
Police later conducted a second interview with Tyler on April 28, 2021.
During that interview, Tyler alleged that Nicole had recently shaken Ace to get him to stop crying, though Tyler did admit that he didn't personally witness that, per the affidavit.
Tyler also told police that for possibly up to four days prior to the baby's death, Ace was acting "fuzzy," and "different," though court documents do not indicate that the baby was ever taken to the hospital or medically evaluated prior to the morning he was found unconscious and unresponsive.
Along with Tyler Groleau, Nicole Groleau was also arrested in connection to the case.
She was originally arrested in the summer of 2021 on a single count of battery with death to a person under 14 years of age, a Level 2 felony, and two counts of battery resulting in bodily injury to a person under 14 years of age, both Level 5 felonies.
In January, she agreed to plead guilty to a new charge — a Level 5 felony charge of neglect of a dependent — and she has a sentencing hearing set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday inside Howard Superior Court 4.
Tyler Groleau's upcoming court hearings are still pending at this time.