Death of 5-year-old ruled a homicide

Verna Tobicoe.

A father and stepmother are under investigation after the death of a 5-year-old was ruled a homicide in the city's Southeast Side.

Verna Tobicoe was found unresponsive Thursday at a home in the 8300-block of South Brandon. The Cook County Medical Examiner says she died of internal injuries as a result of multiple blunt force impacts.

Tobicoe was living with her father because of allegations of neglect against her mother. Her mother and other relatives went to the Medical Examiner to identify the girl's body.

"She was a beautiful little child, she cared about people," said Rudy Ruiz, Tobicoe's grandfather.

The girl's mother says she has two other children who were also removed from her care.

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