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Updated Oct 21, 2012 - 8:48 am

Drowning call leads to murder arrest in Phoenix

PHOENIX — Phoenix police say the initial story about a toddler who drowned while playing with a hose doesn’t add up. Rescuers responded to a drowning call at a home near 71st Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. There, they found 21-month-old Xavier Becerra Martinez hurt, but investigators say his injuries do not appear to be consistent with a drowning.

Police arrested the boy’s uncle, 24-year-old Manuel Antonio Gonzalez. They say he was watching the toddler along with his two older kids when Xavier was hurt. Gonzalez allegedly told authorities his nephew was playing with a hose and drowned in a puddle of water, but cops say Xavier was the victim of child abuse.

Xavier died at the hospital. Gonzalez faces child abuse and first degree murder charges. Police are still investigating.


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