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EXCLUSIVE: Dad wants answers after his toddler's death

DES MOINES - A father is speaking out for the first time, and only to Local 5, after his 2-year-old son dies.

Matthew Trullinger says his son Calvin's death is a tragedy that no one in his family saw coming. He didn't live with his son because he's separated from the boy's mother, but he was there in the hospital for the 2-year-old's last moments. 

"You just can't prepare for that," said Trullinger. 

May 24th, 2018 was the day Matt's life was turned upside down. 

"I was in the shower and when I got out I saw I had 19 missed calls on my phone. It was just a flood of emotions," said Trullinger. 

Police say the 2-year-old was found unresponsive at a home in Des Moines last Thursday morning. That's when he was driven to the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center at around 5:30AM in a private car. 

"It was absolute tragedy. I mean you never wish that upon anyone," said Trullinger. 

When he got to Calvin's room, he was in a daze of confusion. 

"His eyelids were half open and I could see his eyes. He was just so helpless. Doctors had machines attached to his skull. I never thought any of this would happen," said Trullinger. 

Officials say the toddler died later that night. Now all that remains for Matt are the memories with his small boy that was taken too soon. 

"I remember the first time I threw his first Chief's outfit to him and that's the first time he laughed! Just this big awesome smile. That's how I knew, 'You're my boy!,'" said Trullinger.

Matt says the hardest part is knowing his oldest son lost his brother. 

"Their birthday is on the same day. He was 11-years-old when he was born and he named him, Calvin Bradley Trullinger. To see him cry like he cried, that was definitely the worst part. He's a pretty strong boy and he's very hurt," said Trullinger. 

In the end, there are more questions than answers for the family while they wait for Des Moines Police to finish their investigation into the cause of Calvin's death. Officials say it could take several weeks.

"I just hope I wake up from this nightmare. I just want to know what happened. I just want to know everything. I have a lot of questions and I just want to know the answers. That's all I want," said Trullinger.

Matt says he and his oldest son will be planting a tree in Calvin's memory. He's hoping that'll be a reminder that Calvin is always with them.


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