MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 41-year-old southwest Miami-Dade man faced a murder charge Tuesday after police said his story about why his son died back in November didn’t add up.
According to a Miami-Dade police report, authorities responded to the home of Rashad Rancher, located in the 14200 block of Southwest 283rd Street in the Leisure City area, just before 3 p.m. on Nov. 12 in reference to an unresponsive male.
Police said they found Rancher’s son, whose name and age weren’t specified in the report, lying on the bedroom floor. Medics then took him to Homestead Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The report states that police were told that the boy was in Rancher’s bedroom playing with his sister at around 11 a.m. when he tried to climb atop a dresser to retrieve a tablet.
Rancher told police that his daughter immediately called him to the room to assist and he lifted the dresser off of his son and brought him to his feet, unsteady, but conscious and alert, according to the report.
At around 1 p.m., Rancher said his son felt “lethargic,” so he fed him and put him to bed — then found him unresponsive at around 2:55 p.m.
However, a Nov. 13 autopsy told a different story, police said.
The report states that the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office found that the boy’s injuries were “were not consistent with the statement which was provided by (Rancher).”
Police arrested Rancher on an unrelated warrant on March 15, the report states. The warrant involved allegations of sexual assaults on two girls, aged 9 and 15.
Police also questioned him about his son’s injuries not being consistent with that of a falling dresser, they said. Rancher’s statements in response were redacted from the report.
Then, on March 16, Dr. Alexander Blank, an associate medical examiner, reclassified the case, ruling the boy’s cause of death as child abuse and classified the manner of death as homicide.
Rancher, who was charged with second-degree murder as the result of aggravated child abuse, remained held without bond in the Metro West Detention Center as of Wednesday afternoon.