Man held over death of two-year-old boy in Bolton

The house in Cheriton Drive
Image caption Police were called to a house in Cheriton Drive on Sunday

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a two-year-old boy in Greater Manchester.

Rio Smedley was taken to hospital from his home in Cheriton Drive, Breightmet, Bolton, on Sunday after reports he was having a cardiac arrest.

He was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital where he died. His family said he was a "loving son" who was "greatly missed".

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the arrested man was the partner of the boy's mother, Kirsty Smedley.

In a statement the boy's family said: "Rio was the loving son of Kirsty, brother of Ella, grandson of Karen and Paddy, Gordon and Yvonne, nephew of Shaun and Jason.

"He will be greatly missed and the family now ask for some peace during this hard time."

'Normal family'

A post-mortem examination is due to take place at Manchester Children's Hospital.

Det Supt Jon Chadwick said: "I would like to extend my sympathies to this young boy's family and friends at what is clearly a very difficult and emotional time for everyone.

"The investigation is in the early stages and a dedicated team of detectives will be working to establish exactly what happened."

Image caption Well-wishers have been leaving tributes outside the house

One bouquet of flowers left outside the house said "RIP Little Man".

Neighbour Natalie York, 31, said she saw the emergency services arrive at the two-bedroom house on Sunday.

"They're just a normal family," she said.

"I saw the police and ambulance around half four yesterday and heard the boy's mum screaming and the ambulance guy running out of the house with the boy in his arms.

"The ambulance shot off with flashing lights and sirens."

Bolton Council would not say whether the family was known to social services.

A spokesman for the local authority said: "We were saddened to hear about the death of Rio and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

"Professional support will be made available to the family.

"As this matter is subject to a police investigation we are unable to comment on the events surrounding the case."

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