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Officials rule death of 4-year-old boy whose remains were found behind Cleveland home a homicide

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-06 16:57:49-05

The death of a 4-year-old boy whose remains were found in a plastic bag buried behind an east side Cleveland home last fall has been ruled a homicide by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office. 

The child, Eliazar Ruiz, was identified in January. The boy's skeleton was found on Sept. 20, 2017 by a landscaper working at a house on the 12900 block of Longmead Avenue.

Authorities ruled the child's death a homicide by unspecified means.

It took several months for the medical examiner’s office to determine that the bones belonged to a boy about 4 years old.

The boy's grandmother, Dawn Battle, told News 5 she last saw him on July 4, 2016. She said the boy's mother, 27-year-old Ashley Makuhan, gave the boy to his godmother to care for him while she went to jail in 2016.

It's unclear what happened to the boy after that.

Battle said her daughter saw the boy's sketch on the news while she was in jail and alerted authorities to say that was her son. DNA testing was conducted and came back positive.

Police are still investigating the case. No charges have been filed in connection with the homicide.