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Coroner rules Anderson toddler's death homicide, prosecutor says more charges to be filed soon

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 21:17:38-04

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. -- The Madison County coroner has ruled the death of an Anderson toddler earlier this year as a homicide. 

Harlan Haines died in February at Riley Hospital for Children after a car crash involving his mother's boyfriend, Dylan Tate. 

PHOTOS |  Baby Harlan Haines

Court documents described Harlan's injuries and how paper towels were found stuffed down his windpipe on the day he arrived at the hospital. Those injuries were severe and included multiple bruises, cuts and other injuries that doctors believe had nothing to do with the car accident.

The coroner's report obtained by RTV6 Wednesday details the extent of the injuries to the baby's neck, head, chest and private areas - most of which are too graphic to describe. 

Formal neglect charges were filed back in April against Harlan's mother, Jennifer Harris, and her then-boyfriend, Dylan Tate. The Madison County Prosecutor says based on the coroner's report it is likely that more charges will be filed in the case. 

READ | Doctors detail horrific injuries to Anderson toddler before his death

Harlan's uncle, Michael McKnight, filed a legal claim against the Indiana Department of Child Services earlier this year, saying they failed his nephew and they're trying to cover up information related to his death. 

"Without question, I think we can anticipate murder charges probably coming, child molestation charges," said Bob Summerfield with CDS Law Group, one of the firms representing Harlan's uncle. "I think DCS is worried because who knows if charges are coming against them as well. This is a reckless disregard for children."

READ | Harlan's uncle claims DCS failed his nephew

McKnight's lawsuit claims that he and his wife had attempted to get temporary custody of Harlan after they learned of a DCS investigation involving him and allegations of abuse on December 27. His request was denied by DCS. 

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