Joshua James Gonzales mugshot

Police searching for man who reportedly beat toddler to near death, causing a lacerated liver and head trauma

Colorado authorities are asking the public for help locating a 21-year-old man suspected of causing serious injuries to a toddler earlier this month.

The Denver Post reports that Jefferson County investigators believe Joshua James Gonzales was responsible for the abuse, which resulted in a lacerated liver and head trauma for the young victim.

While police think the toddler was injured on September 11, the apparent abuse wasn’t reported until days later when someone saw him, along with his mother, at Doull Elementary School in Denver. A sheriff’s office report indicates the victim was in obvious need of medical care at the time and was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

No charges have been filed against the 2-year-old’s mother as of this writing, though authorities do believe she knew the extent of the child’s injuries. A KMGH report described the suspect as her boyfriend.

“Our investigators are working with the D.A.’s office to determine what charges the mom might face in this case,” said sheriff’s office spokesperson Jenny Fulton.

Several police vehicles and an ambulance were reportedly on the scene Thursday as the investigation began.

Though seriously injured, the toddler is expected to survive. As the victim recovers, investigators have released a description of the suspect and are calling on local residents to help find him.

Gonzales is about 5-feet 7-inches tall, weighs around 200 pounds, and has at least two tattoos– an “S” and a “W” — on his arms. His last known appearance included shoulder-length black hair.

According to a KCNC report , authorities are calling Gonzales the most-wanted suspect in Jefferson County.

Individuals with any information regarding the whereabouts of this suspect are encouraged to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

[Feature Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff]