DA Gascón charges Los Angeles father with murder in gruesome death of 5-year-old son

A Los Angeles father has been charged with murder in connection with the horrific death of his 5-year-old son, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Wednesday. 

Darwin Reyes, 32, was arrested on Monday night and charged with willful cruelty to a child and detectives said that the investigation remained ongoing. His bail was set at $1 million.

"The murder of a child is something that no decent society can ever tolerate," District Attorney Gascón said in a press release.

According to investigators, around 2:20 p.m. Monday, officers received a radio call reporting that a five-year-old boy was unconscious and not breathing in a bathtub. Officers responded to the residence in the 4000 block of Marathon Street in the East Hollywood area and saw vomit and blood in the bedroom and in the bathroom of the home. When officers entered the bathroom, they saw the victim in the bathroom unconscious and not breathing. 

"It is shocking to learn that a parent has allegedly inflicted this level of violence on a small helpless child. While we cannot undo this horrific tragedy, we will continue to hold those accountable who prey on the most vulnerable members of our community. The Bureau of Victim Services stands ready to aid the survivors of this tragedy in dealing with their trauma, Gascón said.

Officers attempted to render aid to the victim and requested paramedics. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and transported the young victim to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Authorities later revealed the little boy’s name was Mason, noting he also sustained injuries to his face. 

LAPD's Juvenile Division-Abused Child Section responded, and their investigation revealed Reyes was the suspect. 

The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday.

Reyes is set to appear in court on Aug. 23.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation was asked to call the Abused Child Section, Juvenile Division or Detective Patterson, at 213-486-0577.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips" under the "Get Involved-Crime Stoppers" menu to submit an online tip.