Phoenix father arrested after infant drowns in bathtub

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Carlos H. Castillo, 19 By Mike Gertzman Carlos H. Castillo, 19 By Mike Gertzman
Phoenix Castillo By Mike Gertzman Phoenix Castillo By Mike Gertzman
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PHOENIX -- Phoenix police have arrested the father of an infant who drowned in a bathtub while his parents and grandmother were sleeping.

Carlos H. Castillo, 19, faces one count of second-degree murder and three counts of child abuse. His bond was set at $180,000.

Police officers arrived at the home near 27th Avenue and Fillmore Street at about 10:45 a.m. They discovered 3-month-old Phoenix Castillo unresponsive and the family attempting to provide CPR.

Officers and paramedics provided medical attention and the baby was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to Sgt. Trent Crump, the baby was left unattended in the bathtub with his two brothers, ages 1 and 3.

Castillo told investigators that he placed the baby in the bathtub on his back, along with his siblings, and turned on the water, according to court records. He said there was no drain plug in and the water was draining. He then went to lie down in another room where the children's mother and grandmother were sleeping.

"It appears that the guardians that were inside the home then may have laid down and actually fallen asleep and been awoken by water coming out onto the floor," Crump said.

The baby was found floating in the water. The family started CPR and called 911. His siblings were OK.

It is unknown exactly how long the baby was in the water. Police said when crews first got to the home, there was water out the front door.

"It takes a while to fill a tub to a point where it has overflowed," Crump said. "The water was, according to our officers, running out the front door of the home when they arrived."

Phoenix police detectives conducted an investigation.

"You know the child is in the tub. You know that the water is running," Crump said.

Because of that, homicide detectives were called out to investigate this as a possible case of neglect.

"This is just a devastating, horrible event," said Capt. Ruben Saavedra with the Phoenix Fire Department. "It's heartbreaking."

Tuesday evening, family members and friends gathered outside the home for a candlelight vigil.

The baby's grandma said she just woke up to screaming.

"I don't know how it happened or what happened. I just got up and tried to help the baby," Rita Madrid said. "They came in and yelled at me that he wasn't breathing and I started giving mouth-to-mouth and police and everybody came and he didn't make it."

"I think it was an accident," said Veronica Ramirez, the baby's great-aunt. "I can't say anything bad about either of them, you know? We all have bad and good in us but they're good parents. Nobody can tell me different."