PATERSON — A city man was arrested Wednesday and charged with the murder of a toddler earlier this year, but authorities did not immediately disclose the man's relationship to the child.

Ricardo Rivera, 30, was identified through investigation and witness statements as a suspect Oct. 23, three days after Paterson police and the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office were alerted to the child's death, according to a release from the prosecutor's office Thursday.

The local medical examiner's office determined the manner and cause of death, respectively, to be homicide by blunt force trauma, the release said.

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Rivera is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and is currently being held at the Passaic County Jail pending a pretrial detention hearing.

The first-degree murder charge carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole; the endangering charge is punishable by five to 10 years in state prison.

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to contact the prosecutor's office tip line at 1-877-370-PCPO.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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