Police are investigating the first homicide in Saginaw of 2022 following the death of a toddler over the weekend.

The 20-month-old boy was taken to the hospital on Saturday by his father after the child suffered severe injuries.

The child's father is in custody and being investigated for murder.

"It's devastating to my entire staff. You know, we dedicate our lives to preventing this type of loss and it's heartbreaking," said Emily Yeager, Saginaw CAN Council president and CEO.

Yeager is reacting to the murder of 20-month-old Tony Jackson. Police say Tony was murdered at a home on Dillon Street in Saginaw on Saturday. Authorities said Tony arrived to the emergency room with severe injuries throughout his body. He died a short time later.

Tony's father is in jail awaiting his first court appearance while police pursue an open murder charge.

"The life of a child, they're in such a vulnerable situation and they require folks to care for them and love them. And when the opposite happens, it's just devastating," Yeager said.

Yeager would not comment on any specific details surrounding Tony's death, but she wanted all parents to know if they're going through a tough time, help is just a phone call away.

"If you struggle with that and you wonder, ‘uh, I don't know if I can hold it together and I could hurt my child,’ there are resources in every community that can help you learn different coping skills, things other than physical discipline to resort to. And we can help you keep from harming your child because the reality is nobody wants to do that," Yeager said.

In her experience, Yeager said most of these tragic outcomes are preventable. She said if you don't make the call to help a child, who will?

"Many of them have had people in their lives who have known what's happened and have not said anything. Those people have failed these children," Yeager said.

If you suspect a child is being abused, call 855-444-3911. All calls are confidential.

Copyright 2022 WNEM. All rights reserved.

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