Man Charged With Murder in Connection to Death of his Girlfriend's 3-year-old Son

March 6, 2013 Updated Mar 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 6, 2013 Updated Mar 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM EDT

A Salamanca man is in custody after being arrested and charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old son.

30-year-old Justin Crouse was taken into custody around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The murder occurred early Tuesday morning on Sulpher Springs Road on the Seneca Nation of Indian Reservation. Deputies were called to the scene around 8:19 a.m. after the victim's mother called 911 to report her son, who just had his 3rd birthday a week ago, wasn't breathing.

The boy was taken to Lake Shore Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead minutes later.

An autopsy performed determined the boy died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Crouse plead not guilty and is being held at the Erie County Holding Center without bail.