- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware man has been arrested in the 2012 beating death of a 4-year-old boy in his care.

Wilmington police say they arrested 26-year-old Tommy Foster on Monday in boy’s death and booked him on a charge of homicide by murder or neglect. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.

Police say they were able to track Foster down with help from the U.S. Marshal’s Office.

Foster is accused in the beating death of a 4-year-old Wilmington boy named Stephen, who court records say was not his biological child. The News Journal reported (http://delonline.us/16QhR4i ) that Foster was living with the boy’s mother, with whom he shared a baby boy.

Though Stephen died on Oct. 19, 2012 - five days after Foster brought him to a hospital with head injuries - Wilmington police did not disclose it until Tuesday. It’s unclear why.

Police said when Foster brought Stephen to an emergency room, he reported that the boy had fallen off his bed.

An autopsy showed the boy died from blunt-force trauma, and experts found the injuries weren’t consistent with an accident, according to court records.

Foster later told police that he was watching Stephen and his own 6-month-old son when “he heard a loud noise and discovered the boy in his bedroom on the floor lifeless.”

Police said Foster never called 911 and took him to a hospital that was farther away than three other hospitals.

In the three months before his death, Stephen had been treated for injuries three times, according to hospital records at Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. One of those visits was on Oct. 2, just a couple weeks before his death. At that time, caregivers suspected the boy was a victim of child abuse and notified both police and the state Division of Family Services to investigate.

The case was still opened at the time of the child’s death, according to court records.

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