A Tennessee man is in custody for allegedly beating a 4-month-old baby to death after he discovered he was not the father of the child.
Jose Avila-Agurcia, 33, is charged with first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse and first degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child neglect in the death of Alexander Lizondro-Chacon.
“It is just horrible,” Memphis Police Department officer Louis Brownlee tells PEOPLE. “And as a father your heart aches. It just turns your stomach. It is just sad and downright disgusting.”
According to the affidavit of complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Memphis officers went to a home on Court Avenue on April 12 after the baby’s mother reported that Alexander was unresponsive and was having difficulty breathing. The boy was transported to LeBonhuer Children’s Hospital in extremely critical condition and died there.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
An autopsy revealed the following day that Alexander died from blunt force trauma and his death was ruled a homicide. The medical examiner concluded that the boy’s injuries were a fractured skull, fractured rib and a serious case of pneumonia.
On April 14, the boy’s mother and Avila-Agurcia told police that they had no idea how Alexander sustained his injuries. The boy’s mother said that Avila-Agurcia watched the boy when she went to work.
However, police met with the boy’s mother again on April 23. She told police that Avila-Agurcia allegedly confessed to her that he “struck the victim multiple times in the head” because he was “angry when he discovered the victim was not his child and he was made to believe that during the pregnancy he was the father,” the affidavit states.
Avila-Agurcia was arrested and is being held without bond at Shelby County Jail.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, he has a court appearance on Thursday. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney.