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Police now investigating 11-month-old's death as homicide

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -

Jacksonville Police are now investigating the death of an 11-month-old baby as a homicide.
     
They say the baby's father committed suicide the next day.

Officers say 22-year-old Marine Corporal Rodney Burton shot himself inside his truck in Trent Woods Wednesday.
     
Jacksonville Police considered him a person of interest in the death of the child.
     
Paramedics found the baby Tuesday in Jacksonville, not breathing, with some kind of object blocking his airway.
     
They did not say what the object was or speculate on how it got there.
     
There are no other suspects in the child's death, but police say they will continue to investigate.

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9 On Your Side is learning more about a Camp Lejeune Marine who took his own life Wednesday, one day after his son was killed and police were looking for him.

Jacksonville Police Chief, Michael Yaniero says Rodney Burton, a 22-year-old corporal stationed at Camp Lejeune killed himself Wednesday.

"He went to Trent Woods. That's where he apparently took his own life," said Yaniero.

Burton's son died Tuesday. Yaniero says a 911 call came from a house on Banks Street, just before 3:00 Tuesday afternoon.

Police used C.P.R. but were unable to revive the baby. He was pronounced dead after being taken to Onslow Memorial Hospital.

Chief Yaniero says the baby died from a blocked airway. The death was originally ruled as suspicious, but later upgraded to a homicide after a report from the medical examiner.

Burton had been questioned by police about his son's death in the hours before he killed himself. Yaniero says no motive has been determined.

"I think it's too early for us to determine what the motive is based upon our current investigation. There's no way of being able to determine that. This literally happened two days ago," said Yaniero.

Yaniero says his detectives will continue to interview people at the scene as part of their investigation.

Police say an object found in the baby's throat could have killed the child. The object has been sent to the S.B.I forensics lab to be identified.

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