Father of baby found dead in fire pit no stranger to law, deportation

Update (October 3, 6:08pm PST):  “2 years in prison for man whose infant son died in fire pit” (Seattle Times)

Attorneys had said that Rios could be deported after his sentencing or could be made to serve his sentence first. Rios, who has used different aliases and birth dates in the past, already has been deported to Mexico three times — in 1994, 1996 and 2001, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have said. He also has several prior drug-related convictions, according to court documents. (Seattle Times)

Update (August 21, 7:59am PST): “Father pleads guilty in baby son’s fire pit death” (Seattle Times)

Choked with emotion, Alberto Rios, 41, mumbled “guilty” when asked his plea to the single count of second-degree manslaughter filed against him in the June 22 death of his 7-month-old son, Diego. (Seattle Times)

Update (June 27, 4:45 PST):  “Father of baby burned in fire pit charged with second degree manslaughter”    (Seattle Times)

COMMENTARY

(Federal Way, Washington) According to a story in today’s Seattle Times, Alberto Rios uses three aliases and three birth dates, has established a history of drug and alcohol-related arrests, and has been deported to his native Mexico three times.

Now, Rios is back behind bars, shackled with a $1 million bail.  He must also cope with the  unimaginable loss of his 7-month-old son, Diego, found dead in a backyard bonfire where Rios had reportedly “fallen asleep” a few feet away.

The horrific scene unfolded last weekend in this Seattle suburb where Rios reportedly told investigators people had gathered to celebrate the completion of a construction job.

The Seattle Times article states:

…(Rios) is in the U.S. illegally and has been deported to his native Mexico three times — in 1994, 1996 and in 2001, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

No doubt that excerpt (above) will resonate with many readers.  But another string of sentences within the newspaper article is even more disturbing, provoking a reluctant mind to imagine the final seconds of a little boy’s life:

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that Diego died of smoke inhalation and burns to his entire body. Court documents said the autopsy also revealed Diego had soot in his esophagus, indicating he was alive when he fell into the fire pit.

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*For more on this story, please read reporter Leslie Anne Jones’ excellent article in today’s Seattle Times. Videos are also provided below:

June 26, 2008: “$1 million bail for father in death of baby son” (KOMO-TV)

June 24, 2008: “Dad Held after Son Dies in Backyard Fire Pit,”  (ABC News)

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