Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son dies in hospital

The 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is in critical condition.
Posted By Caroline Lee  |  Oct. 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM
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Update: 5:53 p.m. EDT

Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson's son died Friday in a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. The toddler succumbed to injuries allegedly stemming from abuse by a man in a relationship with his mother.

Original story follows:

The 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson {link:is in critical condition at a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital : "" target="_blank"} The toddler is allegedly the victim of abuse.

Peterson's father Nelson confirmed Friday that the child is his son's. Peterson met with the media Friday and said he still plans to play in the game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

He declined to talk about details of the case.

"I really appreciate all the support that I've been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization," said Peterson, who was excused to miss Thursday's Vikings practice before returning Friday.

"This is a private matter and I would ask you all to please just respect my privacy and not ask at all about the situation at hand."

Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said that the child remains hospitalized in critical condition Friday.

Tom Wollman, the prosecutor in Lincoln County, S.D., said the child is "unresponsive." The suspect is Joseph Robert Patterson, a 27-year-old that has previously been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant.

Patterson has a prior domestic abuse record victimizing a different woman and child. He pleaded guilty to simple assault in an incident last year involving an adult female and juvenile male.

Patterson and the mother of Peterson's child had recently started a relationship.The child was in Patterson's apartment, where the boy's mother had recently moved in. Patterson called 911 on Wednesday to report a choking in the apartment, but it became clear at the hospital that the injuries were not an accident.

"As officers and first responders got there, they found child was unresponsive and he was taken to the hospital," Clemens said. "So they ended up calling police about that or letting them know. We had detectives talk to quite a few people to try to figure out what happened. What they ended up finding was that when the injuries happened there was one person with that child, and that person was Joseph Patterson."

"The injuries they found were head injuries," Clemens said. "It was obvious to medical staff that abuse had taken place and that those injuries weren't accidental."

Clemens said police believe the child's mother was "gone for a short time, and that's when we believe the injury occurred."

Patterson appeared in court Friday morning in Canton, S.D. His bond has been set at $750,000 in cash.

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