Pima County Deputies arrest man featured on 'America's Most Wanted'
Two-year-old Jorge Rogel-Pagasa. (Photo courtesy: ABC15)
Web Producer: Marissa Pasquet
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -A man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son to death because he did not want to eat his dinner has turned himself in to authorities.
Juan Garcia, 18, turned himself in Friday night to ICE agents near the Lukeville Port of Entry in Ajo, Arizona, which is near the Arizona-Mexico border, according to authorities.
Garcia moved into the home of Wendy Rogel-Pagasa, 18, in Phoenix, Arizona, only days before her son Jorge died, according to authorities.
According to court documents, Garcia became increasingly angry when the toddler would not eat the food he had brought home.
Garcia gripped the boy by the ear and pulled him out of his bedroom. When the child started to cry, Garcia became more infuriated and grabbed him by the throat, repeatedly slamming his head against the wall and knocking him unconscious.
When Rogel-Pagasa begged Garcia to stop, he whipped her with an electrical cord and attempted to choke her.
After the attack, Garcia left the home for about one-and-a-half hours and Rogel- Pagasa watched as her bleeding, unconscious son convulsed on the floor. She tried unsuccessfully to revive him, but did not call for help, according to investigators.
When Garcia returned, he tried to wake up the child by hitting him more, lifting him up by his ankle, bending his fingers back, and slapping him in the face, according to authorities.
It wasn't until Jorge stopped breathing that Rogel-Pagasa called 911 - more than three hours after the initial beating, police said. By then, Garcia had left the area. Phoenix fire paramedics pronounced the child dead at the scene.
Authorities say, Rogel-Pagasa first told them her son got hurt by falling over before admitting what had really happened. She was later arrested and held on one count of child abuse on suspicion of failing to protect her son.
Garcia is being held at the Pima County Adult Detention Center, and is pending extradition to Phoenix.
(Some information for this story came from The Phoenix New Times and KGUN9's sister station ABC15 --Photo Courtesy Phoenix Police and ABC15)