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Mother’s Boyfriend Suspected in Toddler’s Death 2018

Police have arrested the man suspected in Thursday morning’s death of a 2-year-old girl on Mars Avenue.

Lalo Anthony Castrillo IV, 23, of 2200 Mars Avenue, is charged with one count of intentional child abuse resulting in death. The charge is a first-degree felony.

Shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, Las Cruces police were dispatched to the report of a 2-year-old child not breathing at Castrillo’s apartment. Las Cruces firefighters and paramedics performed CPR on the child who was then transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center. The young girl was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Investigators learned the toddler’s mother went to work shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday and left her 2-year-old daughter in the care of her boyfriend, Castrillo. The toddler’s mother indicated to investigators that her daughter was asleep when she left the residence.

About midnight, the girl’s mother called Castrillo who indicated that her daughter was fine and asleep. The girl’s mother told investigators that, about 3 a.m. Thursday, she started receiving numerous text messages and phone calls from Castrillo but, because she was at work, did not immediately check her messages or answer the calls. She told investigators that when she did return his call, Castrillo said he found the child on the floor and she was not breathing.

Investigators learned the 2-year-old girl has visible bruising about her head, chin and both sides of her torso. Medical professionals indicated the bruising appeared to be suspicious and could not have occurred when CPR was performed. A subsequent autopsy revealed injuries to the child’s brain and body consistent with blunt force trauma.

Castrillo indicated to investigators that he fell asleep shortly after receiving the midnight telephone call from his girlfriend and awoke at 3 a.m. when he received a text message. A search of Castrillo’s phone indicated that he had continued usage of the device during the time he said he was asleep, including Internet searches that began shortly after 1 a.m. and a photograph located on his phone with a time stamp of 2:32 a.m. His call to 911 was placed at 3:19 a.m.

Castillo was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is being held without bond.