Toddler's death considered homicide; babysitter arrested on unrelated charges

7:57 PM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento County Coroner's Office believes 2-year-old Will Philyaw was murdered. In a report released Thursday, the coroner's office said the toddler died of blunt abdominal trauma.

On Thursday, police arrested Will's babysitter 30-year-old Samuel Crutchor on unrelated charges. Crutchor was watching the toddler when the baby's mother Tiphanie Williams came home to find him dead.

"He wasn't waking up, so she was splattering water and he was gray and had purple lips," said neighbor Linda Hernandez, who tried to give Will CPR.

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Crutchor is in Sacramento County Jail because of an outstanding warrant in Monterey County. In 2011, Salinas police arrested him for robbery, petty theft with a prior and possession of drug paraphernalia. A statement from the Salinas Police Department said Crutchor ran from Wal-Mart security guards when he was caught shoplifting. He took a fighting position, threw a rock at a guard and then took off; police eventually caught up and arrested him.  

A warrant for Crutchor's arrest was issued one year later for violating his parole. He was arrested Thursday on that warrant because it was the first time officers have been in touch with him since it was issue.

On Thursday, child abuse detectives re-interviewed neighbors at the apartment complex on Watt Avenue in the Arden-Arcade area. Police aren't ready to say Crutchor is their suspect, but he's definitely somebody of interest.

"He was in charge or taking care of the child at the time," Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said. "He's been interviewed by detectives and he's submitted a statement. Just like a parent, he was the caretaker at the time."

Court records show that Tiphanie Williams and Will's father Thaddeus Philyaw are included in a domestic violence case, which was filed in September. CPS records were requested to see if Will was in considered in danger.

By Nick Monacelli,


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