The Indiana Department of Child Services reported child neglect and abuse fatalities fell by nearly a quarter to 59 during its 2016 fiscal year.
The total released Wednesday for the 12 months ending June 30, 2016, compared with 77 during the previous year and 66 in fiscal 2014.
The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported that of the 59 deaths, 24 resulted from abuse and 35 from neglect.
The report found that 21 of the abuse deaths and 25 of the neglect deaths involved children 3 or younger. That illustrates a consistent trend nationally and in Indiana that younger children are at the highest risk of abuse or neglect.
The report said 25 deaths were determined to be accidental, 24 were homicides, four resulted from natural causes, with the rest undetermined.