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BOY, 5, INGESTED DETERGENT, DIED; POLICE PROBING

Amherst police are waiting for a ruling from the medical examiner's office surrounding the somewhat mysterious death of a 5-year-old boy who may have ingested some laundry detergent in his home three weeks ago.

Casey Elgie's parent took him from Mahogany Drive home to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital on the evening of Aug. 31. He was transferred to Children's Hospital, where he died. The medical examiner's office contacted Amherst police Sept. 1.

"The circumstances do seem unusual, but we're not saying that a crime was committed," Assistant Police Chief Ronald H. Hagelberger said today. "We're waiting for a determination from the medical examiner's office whether this was a homicide, an accidental death, or what the cause of death was."

Police believe the boy somehow ingested an unknown quantity of detergent and/or another substance.

"We're trying to determine exactly what he drank, how he came to consume it and the circumstances surrounding it," Hagelberger said.

Detectives were checking reports that the incident may have happened earlier in the day on Aug. 31, long before the boy was taken to the hospital.

Police have yet to pinpoint the timetable of events in the house.

"We're looking to see if a criminal act was committed, if it was an intentional act, a reckless act or an accident," the assistant police chief said.

Law enforcement sources said Child Protection Services officials have taken at least two other children from the home.

Casey was described as a Vietnamese boy adopted by the local family.

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