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 Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.

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PostSubject: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:19 am




ALEX MERCADO
DOB: Jul 19, 2005
Missing: Oct 30, 2009
Height: 3'0" (91 cm)
Eyes: Brown
Race: White
Age Now: 4
Sex: Male
Weight: 45 lbs (20 kg)
Hair: Black
Missing From:
FIREBAUGH
CA
United States
Alex was last seen at an outdoor festival on October 30, 2009. He was last seen wearing a red shirt with a black logo and brown pants.

ANYONE HAVING INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)

Firebaugh Police Department (California) 1-559-659-3051
http://www.missingkids.com/missingki...archLang=en_US

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Last edited by Melinda on Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:20 am

Mendota police search for missing boy, 4

Published online on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009
By Eddie Jimenez / The Fresno Bee

Mendota police are seeking the public’s help in locating a missing 4-year-old boy last seen walking away from his home about 5 p.m. today.

The boy, Alex Christopher Mercado, was wearing a red shirt with a black logo and tan pants near Tuft and Sorenson avenues, Police Chief Jerry Galvin said. The boy was not wearing shoes, he said.

Alex lives near Pierce Rojas Park, Galvin said.

Anyone with information on the boy is asked to call Mendota police at (559) 655-9120 or (559) 659-3051.

http://www.fresnobee.com/updates/story/1693548.html

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:20 am

Missing 4-Yr-Old Boy in Mendota

Friday, October 30, 2009 | 9:43 PM

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Mendota Police are conducting a search for the 4-year-old who disappeared around 4pm. Alex Mercado was last seen by a sibling walking away from home at the intersection of Tuft and Sorenson in Mendota.
Police say Mercado was wearing a red shirt with a black logo (possibly an eagle) tan pants, and no shoes.
Anyone with information about this missing child is asked to call the Mendota Police Department (559) 659-3051.
We will bring you the latest on the late-breaking story on Action News Live at 11.

http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?se...cal&id=7092333

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:29 pm

Per NCMEC,It is with great sadness and deep regret that we notify you that Alex Mercado missing from Mendota, CA, has been located deceased.


http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/68285237.html?video=pop&t=a

Federal and local authorities spent Friday evening and Saturday morning searching for Alex Mercado,4. Relatives tell KSEE 24 that the boy was last seen Friday afternoon. His sister was watching him while their father took a shower. The relative said the boy did not have a habit of wandering off.

In the middle of that interview, a woman nearby started screaming. As she fell to her knees authorities rushed inside and immediately pushed everyone back. Crime scene tape went up as law enforcement began their homicide investigation.

It was not until Saturday evening, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced that the boy's body was found inside of a dryer. A 14-year-old male who lives at the apartment complex has been arrested for murder. :sad:

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:16 pm

Added On November 2, 2009
The body of a missing four year old boy was found inside a dryer.
KSEE's Joey Ybarra reports.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2009/11/02/ybarra.ca.missing.boy.dead.ksee



Slaying of 4-year-old leaves Mendota in shock
Published online on Sunday, Nov. 01, 2009
By Brad Branan / The Fresno Bee

http://www.fresnobee.com/263/story/1695216.html

Residents of Mendota are struggling to come to terms with the weekend killing of a 4-year-old boy and the arrest of a teenage neighbor implicated in his death.
Residents of the town of 10,000 had been aware of Alex Christopher Mercado's disappearance since Friday afternoon because of fliers posted across town, media accounts and word of mouth.
Dozens of residents searched for Alex until officials announced that he had been found dead in a neighbor's dryer Saturday.
His death sent shock waves across town, Mendota leaders said Sunday.
"Everybody was looking for the little boy," said Joseph Riofrio, a member of the Mendota City Council and a business owner. "It's really shocking and unsettling. This is something that happens in big cities, in other places. Now it's happened here."

These two Mendota homes are where Alex Christopher Mercado lived, left, and where he was found dead Saturday in a dryer. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced Saturday night that a 14-year-old boy who lives next door to Alex had been arrested in connection with the killing.

MEMORIAL FUND
A fund in memory of 4-year-old Alex Mercado, who was was found slain Saturday in Mendota, has been set up at West America Bank in Kerman.
Contributions can be made through any West America bank. Checks should be made to the Alex Mercado Memorial Fund, account No. 0261977268.

Alex is the first homicide victim since Mendota opened its Police Department two months ago. But under an agreement with Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, the Sheriff's Office is in charge of the investigation because the nine-officer department doesn't have the resources to handle homicide cases, Police Chief Jerry Galvin said. He said he couldn't comment Sunday on the investigation.
Mims announced Saturday night that a 14-year-old boy who lives next to Alex has been arrested in connection with the killing, adding that Alex was put in the dryer after he was killed.
A spokesman said Mims' office expects to make public more details about the investigation today.
A crowd was gathered around Alex's home when Galvin broke the news to his father, Riofrio said. The father dropped to his knees in anguish and his mother screamed.
The death elicited strong feelings across Mendota.
"The whole community is upset about it," Galvin said.
Alex's disappearance also brought the community together, as they helped Mendota police, the FBI, and the Sheriff's Office with the search, Galvin said.
Members of area churches, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kerman, where Alex's mother is a member, participated in the search.
Alex's mother asked for the church's help shortly after his disappearance, said Bishop Nathan Fox with the Kerman church.
Church members also have helped the family by cooking meals and providing housing for relatives who have come from out of town to comfort the mother and father.
"It's been devastating," Fox said. He added that the fact that a teenager has been arrested "makes it very unsettling."
Riofrio said efforts are being made to raise money for Alex's burial. His mother is pregnant and unemployed and his father is a farmworker, Riofrio said.
A sense of unease has permeated Mendota, where parents are worried about the safety of their children, Mayor Robert Silva said. He saw fewer children than usual on the streets for Halloween on Saturday night.
"A crime like this has never occurred in Mendota, and I have been here around 60 years," Silva said. "People are scared."

THE REPORTER CAN BE REACHED AT BBRANAN@FRESNO BEE.COM OR (559) 441-6679.

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:10 pm

14-yr-old Raul Renato Castro Confessed to Slaying Alex Mercado
Court documents obtained by KMJ News on Wednesday revealed chilling new details about the slaying of a 4-year-old Mendota boy.

A court affidavit shows that Raul Castro, 14, confessed he killed Alex Mercado because the toddler was going to tell his mother that Castro had molested him.

That molestation took place in the bathroom of Castro's home in Mendota.

Castro told authorities he had lured Mercado into his house last Friday afternoon by telling him he had something to show him.

Castro said he led the boy to the bathroom, then sodomized him.

When Alex began crying, Castro said he decided to kill him.

He held Alex underwater for two to four minutes, then got into the tub to hold the boy down until he died.

Then, Castro told authorities, he checked the boy's pulse to make sure he was dead -- put the boy over his shoulder -- and carried him to a clothes dryer.

Then, Castro said, he took a shower and changed clothes.

Authorities found Alex Mercado's body inside the dryer last Saturday.

The district attorney's office has charged Castro with first-degree murder and four special circumstances -- charges that could put him in prison for life.

Castro was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

Outside court on Wednesday morning, Castro's grandmother told KMJ News that "he's a nice kid. I don't know what happened. We are so sorry for the other family. We know how they feel, because I am a mother, too."

www.kmjnow.com/pages/landing_news?Mendot...86864&feedID=806


Affidavit: Raul Renato Castro confesses to killing Alex Mercado
11:56 a.m.: A 14-year-old Mendota boy has confessed to killing a 4-year-old neighbor because the toddler was going to tell his mother the teen had molested him, according to a court affidavit made public this morning.
Raul Renato Castro molested Alex Christopher Mercado in the bathroom of the Castro’s home on Tuft Street in Mendota, the affidavit said. When Alex started crying and threatened to tell his mother, Castro said he decided to kill him, the affidavit said.
Castro held the boy under water for two to four minutes. He then got into the tub to hold the boy down until he died, the affidavit said.
After checking the boy’s pulse to make sure he was dead, Castro said he slung the boy over his shoulder and carried him to a clothes dryer. He put the body in the dryer to conceal the victim’s whereabouts, the affidavit said. He then took a shower and changed his clothing.
The chilling new details are contained in Castro’s court file. The affidavit by sheriff’s detective Sergio Toscano was written in support of getting a warrant to arrest Castro.
The new details elaborate on the information that Sheriff Margaret Mims has already released to the public.
Mims has said Alex was playing outside his Tuft Street home in northwest Mendota on Friday when the 14-year-old lured him into his home next door, Mims said.
The next day, officials from the FBI and the Sheriff's Office searched the teen's home and discovered Alex's body in the dryer, Mims said. Sheriff’s detectives Toscano and Hector Palma interviewed the teenage suspect at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
According to Toscano’s affidavit, Castro was read his Miranda rights against self incrimination. Castro, however, said he understood his rights and agreed to talk to the detectives, the affidavit said.
Castro said he saw Alex outside his home Friday, but initially said he had nothing to do with the child’s disappearance.
The detectives then asked Castro how the boy ended up dead in his clothes dryer.
Castro said, “Maybe someone broke into his home and put the victim in the clothes dryer,” according to the affidavit.
The detectives said they knew Castro was being untruthful and encouraged him to be honest.
Castro then admitted to killing the boy. He then went into detail about how he lured Alex into his home by telling the toddler he had something to show him.
Once inside the home, Castro led the boy to the bathroom, where he molested him and sodomized him, the affidavit said. Soon after Alex started to cry, and saying he was going to tell his mother, Castro killed him. The affidavit doesn’t specify when that happened.
Castro is being held in the Juvenile Justice Campus south of Fresno. His bail is more than $2 million. He will be arraigned this afternoon on murder charges.
10:11 a.m.: The arraignment of a 14-year-old Mendota boy in the slaying of a 4-year-old neighbor was delayed until this afternoon in Fresno County Superior Court.
Raul Renato Castro was expected to enter a plea of not guilty this morning in the killing of Alex Christopher Mercado, but Judge Jon Nick Kapetan delayed the proceedings to give the victim’s family and friends time to make it to court.
Castro’s family and friends, including his mother, Elsa Castro, 39, were in the courtroom this morning with hopes of seeing her son. But he was not brought into the courtroom.
During the wait, Elsa Castro left the courtroom and cried. She declined to comment, but Raul Castro’s grandmother, Desidora Hernandez, told reporters that Raul Castro “is a nice kid.”
“We don’t know what happened,” said Hernandez, 68, of Mendota.
A criminal complaint charges Castro with first-degree murder and four special allegations associated with that charge -- that it was committed along with child molestation, sodomy, and kidnapping, and in order to silence a witness. Castro also faces separate felony charges of kidnapping, sodomy and child molestation.
He is being held at the county Juvenile Justice Campus south of Fresno.
According to Sheriff Margaret Mims, Alex was playing outside his Tuft Street home in northwest Mendota on Friday when the 14-year-old lured him into his home next door. The next day, officials from the FBI and the Sheriff's Office searched the teen's home and discovered Alex's body in the dryer, Mims said. The body was put in the dryer after he was drowned, Mims said. The sheriff has not specified how or where Alex was drowned or why he was killed.
In a statement released Tuesday, District Attorney Elizabeth A. Egan announced that her department was charging Castro as an adult, using a California law that gives prosecutors the discretion to try offenders as young as 14 as adults.
Under the law, a youth offender cannot face the death penalty or life in prison without parole, said Egan's spokeswoman, Sonia De La Rosa. If convicted, Castro could face up to 47 years to life in prison, De La Rosa said.
Prosecutors will charge a 14-year-old boy as an adult today in Fresno County Superior Court in the slaying of 4-year-old Alex Christopher Mercado of Mendota.
But Raul Renato Castro's mother said justice won't be served by prosecuting him as an adult.
"I'll never understand why he did it," Elsa Castro said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening. "He's a good boy who has never been in trouble."
Elsa Castro said she hasn't slept or eaten well since Alex was discovered dead in the dryer of her home Saturday. "It's like one big nightmare," she said.
She said it also hurts her to know that the Mendota community has turned against her and her son, painting him as weird.
"He's never hurt anyone," she said. "He's a good, intelligent boy who was raised right. All I can say is that I did my best."
She said her son was doing well in eighth grade, earnings B's and C's.
Today, Raul Castro faces charges of first-degree murder and four special allegations associated with that charge -- that it was committed along with child molestation, sodomy, kidnapping and in order to silence a witness. Castro also faces separate felony charges of kidnapping, sodomy and child molestation.
He is being held at the county Juvenile Justice Campus south of Fresno.
Elsa Castro, a single mother, said she plans to be at her son's arraignment. She said she feels sorry for Alex's family, "but I lost a son, too."
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, District Attorney Elizabeth A. Egan announced that her department was charging Castro as an adult, using a California law that gives prosecutors the discretion to try offenders as young as 14 as adults.
Egan's office used the law in the case of 15-year-old Bethany Clark of Fresno. Prosecutors say she lured her friend to a remote area, where he was carjacked and killed.
Clark was charged with murder in connection with Carlos Gonzalez's death in February 2007. In July this year, Clark was sentenced to nine years in prison after she pleaded guilty to carjacking and testified against the two men who killed Gonzalez. The two men were convicted.
Under the law, a youth offender cannot face the death penalty or life in prison without parole, said Egan's spokeswoman, Sonia De La Rosa.
If convicted, Castro could face up to 47 years to life in prison, De La Rosa said.
Alex was playing outside his Tuft Street home in northwest Mendota on Friday when the 14-year-old lured him into his home next door, Sheriff Margaret Mims has said.
The next day, officials from the FBI and the Sheriff's Office searched the teen's home and discovered Alex's body in the dryer, Mims said. The body was put in the dryer after he was drowned, Mims said. But the sheriff has not specified how or where Alex was drowned or why he was killed.
Elsa Castro said she was home when detectives arrived. She said she didn't know how or where Alex was killed. She declined to say whether she saw Alex's body because she didn't want to relive the experience.
But she said, "I just screamed at what I saw. No one will ever understand how I feel about what happened."

SPECIAL TO THE BEE
Alex Christopher Mercado, above, was playing outside his Mendota home Friday when Raul Renato Castro, 14, allegedly lured the 4-year-old into his home next door, Sheriff Margaret Mims has said.
HOW TO HELP
A fund in memory of Alex Mercado has been set up at Westamerica Bank in Kerman. Contributions can be made through any Westamerica bank. Checks should be made to the Alex Mercado Memorial Fund, account No. 0261977268.
Sheriff: Mendota boy was drowned, put in dryer

She said she and her son have cooperated with the investigation and talked to detectives separately.
Mims has said the mother apparently was not involved in the crime and doesn't face charges.
Elsa Castro said she is depending on her only other child -- whom she identified as "an adult teen" son -- to support her through the ordeal.
Matt Flood, a friend who is acting as spokesman for Alex's family, said news of the charges put the family in "a state of shock." But the family is coping with the child's death by thinking "positive thoughts," because dwelling on the crime breeds hatred, he said.
"The detectives and prosecutors are all seasoned veterans who know what they are doing," Flood said. "The family is depending on them to carry out justice."

www.fresnobee.com/832/story/1697404-p2.html

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:10 pm

Raul's parents
Action News searched court records and discovered Raul Castro's mother Elsa Castro filed to divorce the boy's father in 1996. That separation came after the DA charged Raul's father Jose Antonio Castro with molesting a boy in Mendota. A judge convicted Jose and sent him to prison. Jose served a three year term. Despite the boy's troubled background, his family is shocked with Alex's murder.

The grandmother also said her heart goes out to Alex's family. Raul Castro did not enter a plea because his attorney needs to gather more information. He returns to court next week.

abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=7101246

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:11 pm

Teen says he drowned 4-year-old to protect secret, police say
November 4, 2009 10:10 p.m. EST

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/04/california.boy.slaying/index.html?eref=rss_crime&iref=nancygrace

Boy, 14, charged with murder

(CNN) -- A 14-year-old California boy told police he drowned his 4-year-old neighbor on Friday because the child had threatened to tell his mother the older boy had molested him, according to an affidavit made public Wednesday.
Raul Renato Castro has been charged in Fresno County as an adult, with special circumstances including murder during a child molestation, sodomy, kidnapping and murder of a witness to prevent testimony, according to the district attorney's office.
He faces separate felony charges of kidnapping, sodomy and child molestation.
The affidavit, filed by the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, says Castro told investigators he lured the victim, Alex Christopher Mercato, into his apartment "by telling the victim he had something to show him."
Police have said no one else was in the Mendota, California, house at the time.
Castro then talked the boy into entering the bathroom, according to the document. Castro said he then sodomized the toddler, after which "the victim tripped over the carpet, fell, and hit the back of his head on the bathtub," the affidavit says.
"Castro said the victim started crying and told Castro he was going to tell his mother. Castro said he panicked and decided to kill the victim by drowning him in the bathtub.
"Castro turned on the water to the bathtub and filled it up just enough to put the victim's face underwater and drowned him. Castro said he held the victim underwater 2-4 minutes. Castro got into the bathtub with the victim, held him down until the victim died."
"Castro then carried the victim over his left shoulder and put him [in]... the clothes dryer to conceal him."
The incident occurred Friday afternoon, after Mercato's parents discovered that their child, who had been playing outside their house, was missing, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told reporters Monday.
The parents called police, who searched the neighborhood and nearby parks in Mendota, 33 miles west of Fresno, she said. Soon, the FBI was called in.
On Saturday, authorities resumed the search and found the body stuffed inside the dryer in the apartment next door.
An autopsy determined the victim had drowned.
Under California law, a 14-year-old is not eligible for the death penalty or a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. If found guilty, Castro could receive no more than 32 years to life plus 15 years.

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:40 am

:rip:

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:46 pm

:candle:

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PostSubject: Re: Alex Mercado (4) R.I.P.   Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:13 am

:rip:

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