The cause of death for 7-year-old Bianca Cartagena of East Amherst may be known within the next several days, when toxicology results are expected to be completed, authorities said Tuesday.
Bianca was found dead in her mother's East Amherst home the evening of Nov. 30 by relatives concerned about the girl's welfare. Police found her mother, Candace Croff Cartagena, inside a large backyard shed in a semiconscious state with apparent self-inflicted injuries.
Croff Cartagena, authorities said, remains a patient in the psychiatric unit of Erie County Medical Center. The child's death has been described as suspicious.
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said it is not unusual for toxicology results to take six weeks to complete. Once the results are turned over to the Erie County medical examiner, he said, those findings, along with autopsy results, will be used to determine the "manner and cause" of the child's death.
A third-grader at Dodge Elementary School, Bianca was living with her aunt and grandmother in North Tonawanda but had gone to her mother's home on Greengage Circle for a visit in late November.
Amherst police Capt. Enzio G. Villalta, chief of detectives, said that once results from the medical examiner are released, police will be able to proceed in their investigation.