Southern California

East Hollywood Father Arrested in 5-Year-Old Son's Bathtub Death

Officers had received a call for an unconscious boy in a bathtub who was not breathing.

Mason Reyes is pictured in an undated family photo.
Courtesy of Reyes family

A 32-year-old father from East Hollywood has been arrested on in connection with the death of his 5-year-old son who was found in the bathtub, the Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday.

Darwin Reyes was arrested on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, and his bail was set at $1 million.

Officers from the Rampart Patrol Division responded to an apartment in the 4000 block of Marathon Street July 25 at 2:20 p.m.

Officers had received a call for an unconscious boy in a bathtub who was not breathing.

Officers said they found blood and vomit in the bedroom and bathroom.

They then discovered the 5-year-old in the bathtub.

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Officers tried to help the boy, and called paramedics. Paramedics took the boy to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, LAPD said.

Reyes was arrested Monday at 11 p.m. and booked into jail.

The child's grandfather identified him to NBCLA as Mason Reyes.

The little boy’s grandfather, Guadalupe Reyes, who also lives in the same building, said he wasn’t home yesterday and doesn’t know what happened.

When he spoke with NBCLA, he was still wearing his name tag from the hospital. He rushed there after finding out Mason had been transported.

He said his son had custody of Mason, who is his child from a previous relationship. They lived at the apartment with Reyes' current girlfriend and two little girls who weren’t home when the boy died.

Reyes said his son came to the U.S. from Guatamala about 16 years ago and worked as a cook at a local restaurant.

His case will be presented to the district attorney’s office Wednesday.

Neighbors say they aren’t aware of any previous problems with the Reyes family, and have always known Darwin Reyes to be a loving father.

“He’s a very good man," said neighbor Jesus Hernandez.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact the LAPD's Abused Child Section, Juvenile Division or Detective Patterson, at (213) 486-0577.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services provided the following statement regarding the case to NBCLA:

"As an agency dedicated to the safety and well-being of children, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is deeply saddened by the death of the child in Hollywood. We mourn with the community over this tragedy.

While we understand the public’s interest in the well-being of children from the community who may be receiving supportive services from DCFS, state law prohibits us from commenting on our possible involvement with families. State confidentiality laws protect children and families from emotional distress and stigmatization while sensitive family issues are resolved.

As a reminder, suspicions of child abuse and neglect may be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling the Child Protection Hotline at 800-540-4000."

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