‘He would be 4 years old this year’: Sonora family still fights for justice after toddler’s death

Local News

SONORA, Calif. (KTXL) — A grieving family and supporters held a rally calling for justice in the death of a toddler Friday morning in downtown Sonora.

Koltyn Sparks-Blackwood died just three weeks shy of his second birthday.

In the two years since the family said they’re still fighting for answers and accountability for Koltyn.

“He would be 4 years old this year,” said Tracy Gulcynski, Koltyn’s grandmother.

She organized the rally to mark the two-year anniversary of the toddler’s death and keep his memory alive.

“He had the most beautiful blue eyes you’ve ever seen and he was just such a good boy,” she recalled. “He loved motorcycles. His favorite saying was ‘vroom-vroom.'”

The rally was also a call to action.

The toddler was in the care of his mother’s then-boyfriend when he was taken to a Sonora hospital. He was then flown to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where he later died.

“Watching his cousins grow up that are his age reminds us constantly on how much we’re missing out on with not having Koltyn with us,” Gulcynski said.

Sonora police said Koltyn died of blunt injuries and ruled the death as suspicious, but police have never named a suspect in the case.

“We still don’t have an arrest and we don’t feel that justice is being served,” Gulcynski said.

The family is also calling on state lawmakers to pass Koltyn’s Law, their proposal to require hospitals to immediately alert law enforcement and Child Protective Services when a child shows up in the ER with traumatic injuries.

“It would mean that Koltyn’s death actually helped somebody else,” Gulcynski said.

But even then, Gulcynski said, their family will never be the same and the pain will never go away.

“Even if we get an arrest, even if we get a conviction, it’s still not going to fill that void for us. We’re still going to wake up every single day with a knot in your stomach and praying that we had him back one more day,” she said.

FOX40 has reached out to the Sonora police chief to ask for an update on the investigation but has not gotten a response.

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