Police: Bus driver picks up man, unresponsive 2-year-old from remote area

Deputies said death is 'suspicious'

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. - California City police confirmed the death of a  2-year-old was due to blunt force trauma and is being treated as a homicide. 

The toddler, Pharaoh Vanvactor, and a man were 10 miles north of California City, when a Regional Transit bus driver stopped and offered the man a ride. The man boarded and told the bus driver the 2-year-old was not breathing, officials said.

Officials said they received a call around 7 a.m. Wednesday from the bus driver. The driver met paramedics at the corner of Nueralia Road and California City Boulevard.

Emergency crews provided CPR but the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man was questioned by officials.

The victim and his mother lived on the 8000 block of Eucalyptus Avenue. Deputies did not know if the man that was with the child trying to board the bus also lived there. The man is the boyfriend of the boy's mother.

Sheriff's Homicide Detectives took over the investigation and deemed the death "suspicious." 

California City Police commander Jimmy Rubio told 23ABC News that investigators have gathered at the intersection of Neuralia Road and Cal City Boulevard.

California City is about 68 miles east of Bakersfield, Calif.

An autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause and manner of the child’s death.


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