The two-year-old son of an American football star has died after allegedly being beaten by the son’s mother’s boyfriend, police and media have said.
Joseph Patterson, 27, has been charged with the child’s beating, and may face additional charges over the death.
The boy’s father Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings is one of the top running backs in professional football.
The boy, whose name has been withheld, had been in hospital in South Dakota since the attack on Wednesday.
“All I can say is, we are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as we deal with this tragic situation,” Mr Peterson’s father Nelson Peterson told the St Paul Pioneer-Press.
‘Consistent with abuse’
In the Vikings locker room on Friday, Adrian Peterson asked for privacy, said he would “stay prayed up”, and told reporters he planned to play in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
“Football is something I will always fall back on,” he said.
“It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that’s what I need in my life, guys supporting me, and just being able to go out and play this game I love.”
According to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, police, the boy was taken to hospital on Wednesday, where authorities discovered he had been injured in a manner “consistent with abuse”.
Mr Patterson had been caring for the boy and was the only other person in the home when police and emergency medical workers arrived.
Mr Peterson, 28, is currently ranked third in the National Football League in rushing yards.
Born in Texas, he was drafted out of the University of Oklahoma by the Vikings in 2007.
Sourced from the BBC World (US and Canada).