|Birth: ||Jul. 19, 2005, USA|
|Death: ||Oct. 30, 2009, USA|
4-year-old Alex Mercado went missing October 30, 2009, in Mendota, CA. An Amber Alert went out, but little Alex's body was found October 31st in the clothes dryer of a neighboring house, and a 14-year-old boy living at that house is under arrest for his murder. Authorities believe that Alex died within minutes of his going missing.
Hundreds pay respects to slain Mendota boy
Published online on Sunday, Nov. 08, 2009
By Eddie Jimenez / The Fresno Bee
MENDOTA -- Hundreds of family members, friends and neighbors gathered Sunday evening to bid 4-year-old Alex Christopher Mercado goodbye.
The visitation and rosary at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Mendota was one of two services for the boy, who was slain Oct. 30.
More than 400 mourners packed the pews and aisles to pay their respects to Alex's family and grieve for the child. Scores more were gathered outside, unable to find space inside the church.
The Rev. Gaspar Bautista told the mourners that unexplainable tragedies like Alex's death happen, but God is always with them.
The 2 1/2-hour service included music, the reciting of the rosary and a chance for townspeople -- still in disbelief about the horrific death in their western Fresno County community -- to file past Alex's small, white open casket.
"No one would expect anything like this to happen, especially to a little boy -- so innocent, so much more life to live," said Mendota resident Melissa Garcia.
Though she did not know Alex or his family, Garcia, 24, said his death "hit close to home" because she has a 4-year-old son and her best friend's son attended preschool with Alex.
Rossely Gomez, 20, of Mendota, said she came to the funeral to show support for Luis Mercado, the boy's father, with whom she had worked.
Gomez said she had been hesitant to visit the family and extend her condolences because "there are no words we can give to make them feel better."
Sunday's service was at the Mendota Catholic church because Luis Mercado is a catholic, said Matt Flood, family spokesman.
Alex's funeral is today at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kerman, where Mercado's wife, Mindy Betancourt Mercado, and the couple's children attend, he said.
Alex was one of the couple's six children, Flood said. Mindy Betancourt Mercado also is about seven months pregnant, he said.
Alex was reported missing by his father about 3:30 p.m. Oct. 30, prompting a massive search for the boy by law-enforcement officers and townspeople.
The boy's body was found in a neighbor's clothes dryer about 1:30 p.m. the next day.
Raul Castro, who lives with his mother in the apartment where Alex was found, has confessed to drowning Alex in a bath tub and hiding his body in the dryer, authorities said.
Alex Christopher Mercado was born in Fresno Ca, at St. Agnes Hospital at 9:47 am weighing 8 lbs. 9 ozs. and was 21 inches long. Born to Luis and Mindy Mercado, two brothers James and Jason, four sisters Ashley, Sara, Emily, and baby Alea whom shortly after Alex passing was born. A loving Grandmother Stella Villarreal and one in El Salvador Blanca Iraheta. 5 Aunts Laura, Cindy, Susie, Reyna and Gladis. A loving super duper Tio Joey Betancourt and one other Mario Mercado. 19 cousins Robledo's, Puga, Betancourt's, and Villarreals....
Alex is a fun, loving, enjoyable boy who had so much to live for. He was so full of energy that it was never really easy to catch up with him..He loved to play with action figures and cars in the dirt... He would build mountain piles with the house spoons so many that we always had to keep buying some... He loved to bike ride so much that for every year on his birthday he would get a new bike..He also loved to dance and hear music one of his favorite was Souja Boy... He was such a cartoon viewer enjoyed Sponge Bob, Diego, Spider man, etc... He loved water, loved swimming so much that the first time we took him to my aunts and uncles pool he watched his siblings take off their shirts and jump in that he himself thought he could do the same.. He learned his lesson and from that time forth he would bring me his life jacket and arm floaties to put on him...
He loved hanging out with his daddy and his friends... He was such a little joker and loved to laugh when you hurt yourself or were just being plain funny... Never shy to express himself continued to be who he was without hiding himself even if you were a complete stranger... I still remember his first day of pre-school walking in there and he was so ready to explore... I wanted him to adjust so I spent most of my time with him volunteering hours in the class watching him with the build a blocks, cars, animals, and his favorite of all PUZZLES... Boy could he put those puzzles together and he didn't want you to help him he wanted to feel and be independent and show you his work.. His shy smile when you told him something all you could see were his dimples... He was so cuddly always hugging and kissing mom, dad, and siblings... Just a regular boy so sneaky....
Whenever he went to any doctors appointment he was almost ready to run out before they would come in and give him his shots... I remember him when he went from diapers to under wears we were out shopping and he saw some Diego underwear and wanted so bad for me to buy them for him and I said to him, "Alex if mommy buys you these chonies you can't wear any more pampers and you have to start using the toilet"... Well I didn't have to tell him twice cause as soon as we got home he put them on and started using the toilet with out any problems...
He was so smart, super smart that he learned to count, name his shapes, his colors and for the first time was able to write his name all by himself on 10-15-2009... He used to paint and draw and was able to draw a face with eyes, nose, and a smile it even had arms and legs... He enjoyed playing video games.. I recall always hugging and kissing him and telling him he was my little baby and he would put his hands up and show me his muscles and tell me," look mommy I'm not a baby I'm a big boy" It's those songs, commercials, and memories that I now cherish...These are just some of the things he did and enjoyed...
October 30, 2009 Friday.... I still remember him getting up early in the morning and putting his clothes on to get ready to go to school since it was red ribbon week and he loved red so much he picked his red shirt out to wear... It was never hard to get him up in morning and out for school the only part that was hard was while he was getting dressed he had to have his cartoon Diego on and wanted to watch it but it interfered with his school schedule... We walked out of the house and down the road to his school... I left him hugged him and said good bye...
At 12 pm I had to pick him up and be at work at the same time so I drove to pick him up and left him on the side of the road where his last words to me were, "Mommy when you come home can you bring me a pizza" Yes baby now run inside a kiss and a bye. I never would have thought that that would be the last time I saw or even heard his voice...I watched him go in and close the door and I drove off to work... I was suppose to be out of by 3 pm but I had to stay over... Daddy called around 3:30 pm and said Alex is Missing. I said he's around there leave me alone I'm busy.... But a few minutes later I felt a heavy burden called back and still no sign of him.... I immediately clocked out and went home... I called for him and looked under beds in closets and in the wash room but there was no sign of him. I then called friends and family and the Mendota Police Department immediately there after a search took place through the day and into the night.... It was a cold night he was wearing no shoes and nothing to keep him warm... I watched the sun go down and then come up and still there was no sign of him... I just could not believe that this was really happening to me theses are things that happen in the T.V. and It couldn't be happening to me.. I was confused, disoriented, and to make matters worse I was expecting a little girl 7 months pregnant...Well apparently daddy had got in the shower and big sister had just got home from school and Alex was excited because he had waited to go play outside. His sister was outside with him but a short time later came back inside and within the next minute or so Alex was already MISSING... THERE WAS SOMEONE WATCHING HIM !!!!
October 31, 2009 Saturday FBI, search dogs and police officers took over the next morning as we sat and waited for anything on where he could be... The most awful thing takes place around 1:30 pm the screams of the neighbor and then the nightmare occurs that ruined the rest of my normal life... My baby boys lifeless little body lied stored in a dryer. Almost 24 hours after the time he went missing and only a couple a feet away from home... That would be the first Halloween we as a family would never be able to enjoy again... Soon after the disturbing news of how his life was taken.. A 14 year old boy tried as an adult facing life charges with the possibility of no parole... Kidnapping, Lewering a minor, Sexually Assaulting Sodomy, Quieting a witness, and Murder Charges....Our Next Court appearance will be 10-04-2010. Just received word that the trial has been pushed further down 11-18-2010..I don't know he confessed why is this happening??? I want to stop living with this imagination of this and that feeling... Give it to me and let my precious little child rest.... To face this animal in court is gotta be the hardest part to watch him breath the air my little baby longed for while being held down under that water...I will never be able to look at water or even fill up a bathtub without thinking of his tragic death.. May God give us the strength we need.. My life, Our life as a family will never ever be the same again..Our little Angel was so full of life with so much to live for and now watches and cares for us from Heaven.... We all Miss him Dearly But he will Never Be Forgotten..His Memories will Forever live on in us.
Fresno Memorial Gardens
Maintained by: Mindy Betancourt Mercado
Originally Created by: Jo Frey
Record added: Nov 03, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43894416