CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner says that the manner of death of Eliazar Ruiz, the 4-year-old whose body was found buried in the backyard of a Cleveland home last year, has been ruled a homicide.
The cause of death has been ruled a homicide by "unspecified means."
Eliazar was found in September 2017, buried in a residential backyard on Longmead Avenue. His body was not formally identified until January, after officials released a sketch of the boy.
Ashley Makuhan, Eliazar's mother, was sent to jail in 2016 for drug related charges. The son was in the care of the godmother ever since the mother went to jail, according to grandmother Dawn Battle.
She said Eliazar went missing sometime after July 4, 2016 when he was at a girlfriend's party off of Lake Avenue.
This was the home of Eliazar's godmother who Battle said she can't identify due to the police investigation.
Battle did say the godmother is a young woman with three children of her own who is not a relative.
There was no initial missing person report filed because the 25-year-old mother, father Ruben Ruiz and Battle thought the godmother had taken Eliazar out of the state and they just couldn't get a hold of him, Battle said.
Nearly one year later in June 2017, Battle said she called the Second District Police to report him missing and was told she could not because she wasn't a custodial parent or legal guardian. She had asked to file a missing person report and have a cop come out. She told police Eliazar Ruiz's mom was in jail and his dad couldn't be found.
Earlier this month, Battle said Makuhan saw the sketch on television while jailed at a state facility.