A 23-year-old Texas man killed his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son because the boy wiped poop on the suspect, police say.
Around 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 21, the Irving, Texas, Police Department responded to a home after a report of an unconscious person.
When on the scene, police said they found 2-year-old Jeremiah Degrate Rios dead.
It was determined that Jeremiah’s death “was not an accident,” according to the news release.
After watching surveillance video, police determined Arturo Santiago Pena-Almanza Jr., 23, and the child left the apartment at 3 a.m. to go to the car and returned around 4 a.m., WFAA reported.
When they returned, police said the “child did not look to have life,” or was in need of some kind of medical attention. Pena-Almanza did not render any aid to the child, police noted, according to WFAA.
The mother, Rosa Rios, was sleeping inside the home at that time. She woke up and called 911 after seeing Jeremiah was not breathing, which was about five hours after Pena-Almanza returned home, according to WFAA.
According to authorities, Pena-Almanza was initially arrested on Sept. 22 on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. However, while police interviewed him, Pena-Almanza told police he killed Jeremiah by hitting him several times, officials said.
He started hitting the child because the boy wiped feces on him, police said.
Rosa Rios told WFAA, "[Pena-Almanza] said Jeremiah told him he had poo-poo and he said Jeremiah reached inside his pants and wiped it on Arturo, and he said he lost it and pushed him and started hitting him on his head."
Pena-Almanza has now been charged with capital murder and was transferred to the Dallas County Jail, police said.
In the GoFundMe for Jeremiah, his family talked about how he was a sweet, loving boy who loved playing with his cars and eating donuts. He made his family smile every day and he loved making people laugh.
"He is now watching over us and will forever be held in our hearts," the family wrote.
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