A man allegedly killed his stepson and then tried to cover his crime by telling officials he had a seizure. Michael Mercado, 25, was watching over his two-year-old stepson Dionicio Mendoza alone at their home in Irving, Texas, when he called 911 to say the boy was sick.
Dionicio had no history of health issues and first responders immediately noticed obvious signs of violence and trauma, including bruises and injuries on Dionicio’s body.
The injuries were so severe, the child was transported to Children's Medical Center in Dallas and placed on a ventilator.
Last Friday, two days after the initial incident, doctors declared him brain dead and Dionicio was removed from life support. He passed away on Saturday afternoon and his family has donated his organs. An autopsy is underway to determine the exact cause of death.
Mercado was arrested on Friday night and charged with murdering the young boy after police determined his story was not consistent with Dionicio’s injuries. He is currently in the Irving Jail without bond. Police said they will continue to their investigation.
Dionicio is the youngest of three brothers. The other two were not at home when Mercado killed their brother and their mother, Gaby, was at work at the time.
“There [are] monsters in everyone,” said Liegea Lopez, a relative of the boy's mother. “You just never know which ones are going to snap and when they do what they're capable of doing.”
“You hear about stuff like this on the news all the time, but when it hits so close to home you just can't believe it's happening.”
A YouTube video paying tribute to Dionicio said “He was so young, cute, and smart. He loved his mommy so much! May You Rest In Paradise Baby Nicho, we love you so much.”
Sources: Daily Mail Image via YouTube