Update: South Bend father held in beating death of 10-year-old - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Update: South Bend father held in beating death of 10-year-old

Posted: Updated:
Terry Sturgis (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police) Terry Sturgis (Courtesy St. Joseph County Police)

Police say a South Bend 10-year-old who died early Friday was beaten to death by his father in a case that stunned even career law enforcement officials.

Tramelle Sturgis was found unconscious and not breathing after police were called to the 1100 block of West Washington Street about 4 a.m.

Tramelle was pronounced dead at the hospital, said Captain Phil Trent.

The case was investigated by the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit, Special Victims Unit and Casie Center.

Trent said Terry Sturgis, the boy's father, was taken into custody following the investigation.

Part of the investigation involved talking to other children in the home at the time. Police said they received conflicting reports at the scene about what actually happened to Tramelle.

But some of the investigation details emerged as shocking.

"In almost 37 years of police work, this was maybe not the worst case I've seen but it was in the top two," said Tim Corbett, commander of the St. Joseph County Homicide Unit.

Tramelle had injuries both old and new, police said, and he had been beaten throughout the night.

At times, a club was used during the beating of Tramelle and a 14-year-old sibling, and they were bound with duct tape, the sibling told police.

Evidence collected at the scene was consistent with that sibling's account, along with statements from the other children with whom Sturgis was living in the basement of the home.

Those children ranged in age from 4 to 14, court documents showed. They were all present at the time of the beating.

Police say Sturgis eventually admitted to beating Tramelle and the 14-year-old, using the club and a belt, but still maintained that Tramelle had fallen down the stairs.

FOX28 News will bring you more information as it becomes available.

 

 

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