TROY, NY - The Troy Police Department says they are in the early stages of the investigation into discovering how a toddler in Troy died over the weekend.
On Saturday night at approximately 7:45 p.m., the mother came home to her Griswold Heights apartment to find her child, 21-month-old Avery Cahn, dead.
Police say the mother had left the child with her boyfriend, 28-year-old Robert Hayden, for several hours to go to work but when she returned home Hayden was gone.
"The caretaker did in fact leave the child for several hours during the time where he was responsible for the child's well being," Captain John Cooney said.
Police say Hayden allegedly left the child home alone for more than two hours, however they are unclear whether he left the child alone in a state of distress or the death came after the caretaker left.
Neighbors of the child were distraught talking with NEWS10 about Avery. "He was a sweet little boy and he didn't deserve to die."
Hayden was allegedly found by officers walking nearby after the child had been found deceased. Police say Hayden is cooperating with the investigation and is not facing charges at this time.
NEWS10 learned that Hayden had been arrested, and pleaded guilty, in July 2010 for a sex crime against an 11-year-old girl. Law enforcement says there is no indication of any kind of sexual nature going on in this case at this time.
"My daughter is trying to make a living and go to work," Avery's grandfather, James Stickelmyer said. "You think you're leaving your child home being protected by someone and you expect to come home to them, but she came home to a tragedy instead. A lot of questions need to be answered."
"Anyone in their right mind wouldn't leave a child alone, regardless of the situation," Jaime Clark, Avery's aunt told NEWS10. Stickelmyer and Clark are both from Pennsylvania and came up to be with their daughter after they heard of Avery's death.
Police said toxicology results to help determine how Avery Cahn died will be available Monday, however the results are still pending.
The family has set up a fund to help cover funeral expenses. Contributions can be made at any SEFCU branch.