Father wants justice for death of 2-year-old son

Allegan County

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators are looking into the suspicious death of a 2-year-old Allegan boy who died after sustaining injuries to his head and chest.

“He loved to play outside, he loved his sister, his cousins, his grandpa, his grandma,” Kayden Blackmer’s father David Holmes said. “He was full of life. He had just turned 2 eight days ago on the 3rd.”

He and Kayden’s grandmother told News 8 that Kayden and his 10-month-old sister Rosalee Blackmer arrived at Allegan General Hospital Saturday. Kayden was not breathing and unresponsive. Hospital personnel stabilized him and he was airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.

He never woke up, family says.

Swelling and bleeding on his brain eventually caused his heart to keep stopping. He was taken off life support Monday.

Because of restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic, his father was not able to see his son in person before he died.

“Over the phone, they wouldn’t let me drive down there to say goodbye to him,” Holmes said.

Scans revealed that Kayden was struck multiple times in the head and chest, fracturing ribs and collapsing a lung.

Court documents show Children’s Protective Services has opened an investigation into the 26th Street home where the children lived with their mother Khierstin Powers and her boyfriend, Joshua Martin.

Allegan County Sheriff’s Office investigators say the death is suspicious and they are talking to all persons of interest, but the family believes they know who is responsible.

“My daughter, his sister, also has bruising. She had fractured ribs and a skull fracture that were in the process of healing, so it wasn’t like it was all done in the same day,” Holmes told News 8 Tuesday.

Rosalee is out of the hospital and recovering.

Investigators say they are not ready to name anyone as a suspect at this stage but expect to make an announcement soon.

On Tuesday, the family released balloons in remembrance of Kayden.

“I’d like to see justice for him,” Holmes said.

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