Crime & Courts

Police: Toddler hospitalized with octopus in throat improving

Courtesy of Google

The 2-year-old boy brought to a Wichita hospital Tuesday night with a small octopus stuck in his throat has shown significant improvement, police said Thursday.

He has been upgraded to good condition and so far doesn’t show signs of long-term injury caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain, Wichita police Lt. James Espinoza said.

“There will be some more tests today” to assess the toddler’s responses, he said.

The boy’s 21-year-old mother told investigators she returned home from work Tuesday night to find her 36-year-old boyfriend performing CPR on her son, police have said. The child was not breathing when he was brought to the hospital from their house in the 4900 block of East Waterman.

In the course of assessing the child’s conditions, doctors extricated the small octopus from the child’s throat. The head of the dead octopus measured about 2 inches in diameter.

Police were notified by the hospital when the boyfriend’s stories about how the boy swallowed the octopus and sustained minor injuries to his face were not consistent with the evidence, Espinoza said.

The boyfriend was taken to Exploited and Missing Child Unit offices for questioning and arrested shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse. He has since bonded out of the Sedgwick County Jail.

The investigation into the incident is continuing, Espinoza said. He called the 2-year-old condition “a very delicate situation.”

At some point soon, a detective specially trained to interview young children will visit with the boy.

“That’s an interview that will need to take place,” Espinoza said.

Police have said the octopus was not a pet. It was likely intended to be used as sushi.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

Related stories from Wichita Eagle