Five-year-old Braeden's misdeed, it seems, was just that he defecated in his pants.
He ended up dead at the UC Davis Medical Center on Wednesday, severely bruised, with suspected internal injuries and sores on his face, according to court documents. Doctors found feces in his mouth
On Thursday, Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrested 31-year-old Eduardo Zamora Jr.
in connection with the death of Braeden James Gardner
, said Sgt. Tim Curran.
Zamora lived with Braeden and his 25-year-old mother, Amber Ingram, in a Rosemont duplex, according to Curran and court documents. He was booked into Sacramento County jail on suspicion of murder and assault resulting in the death of a child under age 8, booking records show. Jail staff said he could not be interviewed because he was on suicide watch.
Ingram is not a suspect in the case, Curran said, and the investigation is ongoing.
Inside the apartment, child abuse Detective Tom Koontz found feces smeared on the wall of one room, on the bed in another and on a pair of boys underwear and a towel hanging in the bathroom
, according to a request for an arrest warrant written by Koontz and filed in Sacramento Superior Court.
There also appeared to be feces on Zamora's back
, the account said.
Zamora admitted hitting the child
Wednesday, and allowed that "he may have hit (Braeden) too hard because he has been frustrated with (him)," according to the warrant request.
The boy had been getting into trouble in the kitchen, including playing with knives, Koontz wrote, adding that "Zamora said he has also been defecating himself, and he's not responding to the discipline."
When asked about Braeden's severe bruising, Zamora attributed the marks to an earlier beating
after the boy's misbehavior in the kitchen, the request states.
Zamora repeatedly asked the detective about Braeden's condition, Koontz wrote. When told of his death, "Zamora began to cry and say that he could not believe that he killed a little boy."
Before leaving the interview, Zamora wrote a two-page letter apologizing to Ingram
, the warrant request states. That letter has been saved as evidence.