Mother Accused of Killing Her 17-Month-Old Son

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The mother of a 17-month-old boy who died at his family's Riverside home was booked Tuesday on suspicion of murdering the toddler, whose father said he was struggling to understand what happened.

Lori Burchett, 38, was interviewed overnight and brought late Tuesday morning to the Robert Presley Detention Center, where she was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending arraignment on Thursday, according to a jail clerk.

Riverside police were called to the 5600 block of Via Terreno about 11 p.m. Monday in response to a 911 call placed by the child's father, who said he found his son Garrison dead in a bedroom when he returned home.

"I came home and I saw my baby, and my wife was traumatized and I don't know all the answers yet, but I found my baby," Greg Burchett said in an interview outside his home.

"I've always been extremely supportive of my wife. I just don't understand what happened," he said. "The facts have taken place, but I don't understand the rationale or what happened behind it. And until that comes up, when all the evidence is there and everything is vetted, I want to understand what happened. Until then, all I know is I've lost a son."

The preliminary investigation determined that the boy had received a blow to the head and a puncture wound to his stomach, said Riverside police Sgt. Mark Rossi.

"There were some items that were taken as possible evidence," the sergeant said. Testing must be done to determine whether those items -- he declined to describe them -- were used to harm the boy, Rossi said.

Burchett was taken into custody based on interviews with family members and evidence at the scene, according to police.

"There's nothing that leads us to believe that dad had any role," Rossi said.

The father said he has two other children to care for.

"I have a 3 1/2-year-old named Gregory, and he's not quite sure what's happening, of course. Nicholas, I'm ... He's going to have a tough time," he said, his voice breaking.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call detectives Rick Cobb at 951-353-7135, or Rick Wheeler, 951-353-7134.

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