The family of 21-month-old King Stephen McCowan gathered outside their Merced home Monday trying to make sense of the tragedy that struck over the weekend.
Merced police say the 16-year-old cousin called 911 after he couldn't wake King up Sunday morning.
But after further questioning, details from the night before began to unravel.
"The baby was wrestling with his four-year-old brother who was also in the house and they were rough-housing and he had to separate them and punish the four-year-old and the 21-month-old baby, by his word, ‘whipping' the two of them. He then had to punish the baby again for playing in the water in the toilet," Commander Floyd Higdon, Merced Police Department, said.
King's body was covered in bruises when Merced police got to him Sunday morning.
An autopsy is scheduled for later this week.
The 16-year-old juvenile has an outstanding warrant for an unrelated car-jacking violation.
Now, he's also being held on charges of felony homicide and felony child abuse.
And so far, no charges have been filed against the baby's mother.