Peoria man arrested in connection with son's death

By Denise Jackson

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 10:50 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Nearly a month after the death of a Peoria High School student, the teen's father is now facing charges.

On Thursday, Peoria Police arrested Darnell Hunter Sr., 40, on suspicion of involvement with the death of his son, Darnell Hunter Jr's., February 20.

Early that morning, the elder Hunter called an ambulance to his Parkview Estates apartment because the son was vomiting and having trouble breathing.

The teen was taken to OSF St. Francis Medical Center where he died. Peoria Police Sergeant Bob Wagner said there was evidence Darnell Hunter Sr. may have hit and restrained his son.

Hunter faces charges of aggravated battery, great bodily harm and unlawful restraint.

"We've heard stuff from school people, and teachers and everyone else and that's why we do the investigation to confirm what actually happened," said Sgt. Wagner.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said an autopsy showed that Darnell Hunter Jr., 19, died of a probable viral infection.

She said there were other significant factors apparent including mental developmental disorder, major depressive disorder and malnutrition.

Sergeant Wagner said police had been called to the apartment on previous occasions but would not confirm the reason for those calls.

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