Three-year-old BG boy allegedly murdered by mother's boyfriend

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Battle Ground Police arrested 39-year-old Ricardo Gutierrez Monday night after he allegedly critically injured a 3-year-old boy who later died of his injuries. 

The 3-year-old boy, identified in Clark County Superior Court documents as Jose Castillo-Cisneros, given the nickname "Pepe" by his family, was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital Monday evening, where he later died of his injuries.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by Pepe's aunt, he was autistic. 

According to court documents, officers from the Battle Ground Police Department were dispatched to a home on the 1600 block of Southwest Sixth Street for a juvenile abuse type call. According to the probable cause affidavit, Pepe's 9-year-old sister called 9-1-1 and reported that her father, identified as Gutierrez, was hitting her 3-year-old brother. She said that Gutierrez and her mother, Yadira Cisneros, were upstairs fighting "over the brother."

The probable cause affidavit states that 9-1-1 dispatchers heard what sounded like, "He is killing me." The 9-year-old sister reported that Pepe was in a "big puddle of blood and was not breathing."

According to Battle Ground Police Department spokeswoman Bonnie Gilberti, Gutierrez lived at the Battle Ground residence and was in a relationship with the boy's mother, but was not Pepe's father. 

Officers arrived at the scene at about 7:53 p.m. and heard screaming inside the residence, according to the probable cause affidavit. Officers forced entry into the home and detained Gutierrez, and began performing CPR on Pepe. Officers described Pepe as "possibly being deceased and a large amount of blood coming from Pepe's head." He was transported to the hospital where he later died.

Pepe was reported to have several contusions to his face and head. Police observed an injury on the boy's head consistent with a knife wound and also indicated that Pepe had numerous bruises on his face and right arm.

The mother's sister, Brenda Cisneros, was able to translate from Spanish to English some of what Yadira Cisneros had told her regarding the incident. 

According to the probable cause affidavit, Cisneros told Brenda that Pepe and his sister had taken a bath and were upstairs. She said she was downstairs washing dishes when she heard the children crying upstairs and rushed up there. Cisneros said she went into the bedroom and saw Gutierrez throw Pepe up against the wall. There was a large hole in the drywall about the size of a small child's head, according to court documents.

Cisneros said she fought with Gutierrez to keep him from hurting Pepe. She told Brenda that Gutierrez was trying to choke Pepe and that she told him, "you're killing him." Cisneros said that Gutierrez said he was going to kill Pepe and her. She later showed detectives several injuries to her arm, leg and neck, and possibly broke her arm during the struggle, according to court documents.

Cisneros told Brenda that she put her 1-month-old son on top of Pepe to keep Gutierrez from assaulting him further. She said this didn't work and that Gutierrez finally stopped when Pepe appeared to stop breathing.

According to the probable cause affidavit, detectives spoke with Pepe's 9-year-old sister, who said she and Pepe were upstairs watching a movie. She told detectives Pepe was crying because he didn't want to watch the movie. Pepe went into Gutierrez' bedroom and opened the door. Pepe's sister told detectives Gutierrez was mad because Pepe was crying and that he was trying to pull Pepe into the room.

Pepe's sister said Cisneros heard Pepe crying and came upstairs and that Cisneros was screaming at Gutierrez and told her to call 9-1-1. Pepe's sister told detectives she saw blood in the bathroom and a hole in the wall in Gutierrez' room. She also told detectives that Cisneros "knew she needed to get upstairs because she knew that Gutierrez hated Pepe."

Detectives interviewed Gutierrez, who said he didn't remember assaulting Pepe, according to the probable cause affidavit. He told detectives that the family had gone to dinner earlier in the evening and the next thing he remembered was that he was being handcuffed. Gutierrez said he has blacked out in the past when he was very angry. Detectives observed Gutierrez had several injuries to his hands and suspected he had a broken right hand. They also observed red-colored stains consistent with blood on Gutierrez' clothing.

According to the probable cause affidavit, initial responding officers observed several fresh suspected blood stains on Gutierrez' bedroom walls and in the bathroom. Officers observed holes in the wall in his bedroom; one of the holes was about the size of a child's heard. Officers also observed a broken steak knife in Gutierrez' bedroom; the blade of the knife was found in the bathroom sink.

Gutierrez was booked into Clark County Jail for first-degree murder. He made his first court appearance this morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree murder. Judge Daniel Stahnke set his bail at $1.5 million. 

According to court documents, Gutierrez has a criminal history that dates back to the 1990s, which includes assault convictions. He was previously convicted of second-degree assault in Jackson County, Oregon, and is currently on parole. 

Gutierrez is set to be arraigned on June 3. The Battle Ground Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit will continue to investigate this incident. 

A GoFundMe account was set up to help Pepe's family with funeral expenses. Those wishing to donate can do so here https://www.gofundme.com/25uqnuc.

On the GoFundMe page, Brenda Cisneros, Pepe's aunt, wrote: "My precious little nephew's life was taken this Monday afternoon by my sister's boyfriend. He was only 3 years old he did not deserve to die like this. There are no words to express the pain my sister (baby's mom) and everyone in my family are feeling right know. We are devastated. My nephew was autistic and he was doing so well he was learning how to talk and this was his second week at his special school. Yesterday was the first day he didn't cry when the bus picked him up and he got home very happy after school. We still can't believe he's not with us anymore. Please anything will help us right to help cover the funeral expenses. Please pray for my sister. Thank you." 

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