Erik Adrian Blanco killed girlfriend’s toddler: Cops

Erik Adrian Blanco (Morrison County Sheriff’s Office)

A 40-year-old man in Minnesota with a history of physically assaulting children was arrested this week for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s 14-month-old daughter, beating the toddler to death in July.

Erik Adrian Blanco was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of second-degree murder with intent and one count of second-degree murder without intent in the death of young Riverlynn VanNorman, online records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Little Falls Police Department, Riverlynn’s mother called 911 at about 9:23 p.m. on July 6 and told the emergency dispatcher that her daughter had stopped breathing. When authorities responded to the home in the 400 block of Third Street Northeast, they found the toddler not breathing and without a pulse.

Medics rushed the child to St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, where she died. Riverlynn died due to “multiple head and neck injuries consistent with homicidal violence,” officials said.

Investigators said the victim and her mother had been temporarily staying with Blanco, who police identified as the mother’s boyfriend, for about a week. At the time Riverlynn suffered her fatal injuries, her mother was away from the home, and she was in the care of Blanco, officials said.

A copy of the probable cause affidavit obtained by the Star Tribune said that when officers first arrived at Blanco’s home, the victim’s mother was hysterical and “screaming her daughter’s name.” However, Blanco was reportedly seen sporadically praying “but was otherwise unemotional.”

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