The 4-year-old Mendota boy who disappeared Friday was drowned and placed in a neighbor's dryer before a search for the child had even begun, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said today.
Sheriff Margaret Mims said Alex Christopher Mercado was playing outside his Tuft Street home Friday when a 14-year-old neighbor boy brought him into the neighbor's home and killed him. The teenager placed the child in the dryer, which was screened by a door, Mims said. The teenager, whose name has not been released, has been arrested in connection with the child's death.
Mims declined to say why the child was killed. She said investigators have suspicions about motives, and those suspicions will be spelled out when charges are filed. Mims said investigators will present their case to the Fresno County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday. She declined to release the results of an autopsy.
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