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Thursday, Nov 21 2013 03:58 PM

Cause of death of California City toddler announced

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Kern County Sheriff"s detectives conduct their investigation into the death of a two-year-boy who was discovered on a Regional Transit Bus Wednesday, Nov. 20, in California City. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Detectives from the Kern County Sheriff's Department, along with California City Police officers blocked off the intersection of California City Boulevard and Neuralia Road Wednesday Nov. 20, as they investigate the death of a two-year-old boy. The boy and an accompanying adult were passengers on a Regional Transit Bus when another passenger notified the bus driver that the child was not breathing. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Kern County Sheriff"s detectives conduct their investigation into the death of a two-year-boy who was discovered on a Regional Transit Bus Wednesday, Nov. 20, in California City. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Update, Nov. 21, 6 p.m.: Kern County Sheriffs identified the man who accompanied the deceased two-year-old as Matthew Berry, 26. Berry was the boyfriend of the child's mother.

As a result of the investigation, Berry has been arrested and charged with one count of first degree murder and assault on a child causing death.

According to Kern County Superior Court records, Berry has pending charges of driving on a suspended license, filed Oct. 28. His next hearing on that misdemeanor charge is set for Dec. 23. No information is currently available on his bail or hearing status concerning the new charges.

Nov. 21, 4 p.m.: The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has determined that the death of a child who was found on a Regional Transit Bus in California City Wednesday morning, Nov. 20 was a result of blunt force trauma.

The KCSO has identified the child as two-year-old Pharaoh Vanvactor and are treating the case as a homicide.

The investigation is ongoing.

As reported HERE, the driver of the bus noticed a man with a small child along the side of the road approximately 6 miles north of California City. The driver stopped and asked if they needed assistance or a ride to California City at which time the adult male boarded the bus with the child.

"Sometime after the man and child boarded the bus, the man informed the driver that there was a medical issue with the child," stated Sheriff's Department Spokesman Ray Pruitt. "After that, the driver called for the fire department and an ambulance to meet him in California City."

Emergency personnel met the bus near the intersection of California City Boulevard and Neuralia Road, where the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Pruitt, the child's mother is a resident of California City, and detectives were able to speak to the adult male and determined he is the boyfriend of the deceased child’s mother. Detectives were also able to speak to the child’s mother.

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