PHOENIX -- The initial call to a home on 71st Lane Friday night in Phoenix was for a child in trouble.
"The information they received is they had an injured child, possible drowning, of that nature," said Sgt. Tommy Thompson.
Friday, 24-year-old Manuel Antonio Gonzales was watching his nephew, 22-month-old Xavier Martinez when, somehow, the boy got hurt. Gonzales allegedly told police a few stories including one about how Xavier had somehow drowned while playing with or drinking from a garden hose.
"Things appeared to be a little bit suspicious," said Sgt. Thompson. "That's why our detectives are on scene to investigate this."
And those instincts were right. Court paperwork shows injuries to the boy's body do not match his uncle's explanation.
Xavier was pronounced dead at the hospital, where doctors said he had bruising between his thighs, tearing, a ruptured bowel and his stomach was full of fluid. Inside the home, detectives found clothes soiled with mud and vomit on the washing machine and a bloody towel in the suspect's bedroom.
Police say Gonzales never admitted to sexual conduct with the boy and denied hitting him. But news of those injuries no doubt bring more pain to the family on the loss of this little boy.
Gonzales now faces first degree murder and child abuse charges.