Denver 3-year-old who police believe died of abuse identified

DENVER -- The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner has identified the 3-year-old who police officers found dead in an apartment Tuesday.

Jeromiah Gurule was pronounced dead at the scene. He had just turned 3 years old on Friday. The cause and manner of death is pending investigation.

John Affourtit, 33, is being investigated for first-degree murder of a child under 12 years old in a position of trust.

Police said about 4 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to an apartment in the 900 block of South Dahlia Street on a report of a 3-year-old child who was not breathing.

First responders tried to revive the child, but were unsuccessful.

Police said the child died as a result of physical abuse.

Affourtit was arrested Wednesday night. He is the boyfriend of the victim’s mother and lived in the same apartment as the victim. The apartment is located in the Virginia Village/Glendale area.

Neighbors saw police cars and investigators line their usually quiet street for nearly 24 hours. They were shocked to learn what police say happened inside.

"It blows my mind," said Tim Igo, who lives across from Affourtit and his girlfriend. "I never would’ve thought he could do that."

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