Police investigating death of 2-year-old boy

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Department patrol car is parked outside of the home in which a 2-year-old boy was pronounced deceased on Tuesday. (Alan Dooley photo)

Monroe County Coroner Vicki Koerber on Thursday identified the child found deceased inside his Renault home on Tuesday as 27-month-old Jase C. Tojo. The coroner added that an autopsy was performed Wednesday to help determine a cause of death.

An investigation continues into the boy’s death. Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing told the Republic-Times on Friday that toxicology results are still pending and have been expedited, but to his understanding, the preliminary autopsy report “did not show foul play.” An autopsy is just one of multiple components used in determining an official cause of death.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is working with the county coroner’s office, Illinois State Police and Child Death Investigation Task Force to determine how the death occurred after the young boy was found unresponsive at a home on Main Street in the tiny town of Renault shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

An ISP crime scene unit was called to assist in the investigation, Rohlfing said.

The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services has also been contacted.

Visitation for Jase C. Tojo is set for 10 a.m. until time of service Saturday at Quernheim Funeral Home, Waterloo. The funeral takes place at 3 p.m. Burial will be at St. John Cemetery, Maeystown.

The child’s surviving relatives include mother Sydney Tojo, sister Dixie Ann Tojo, grandmother Brenda Hoefft, friend Ryan Miller and aunts, uncles, nephews and cousins.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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