ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The father of a 5-year-old boy found beaten and chained in Mexico City last month is hoping the child will soon be returned to him in California.
The boy, who is a U.S. citizen, was sent to live with his father’s sister and her husband after his mother and father separated, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.
The child was rescued on June 27 from a home in Mexico City, where prosecutors said he had been chained, starved and beaten.
The boy’s aunt and uncle were arrested and charged with illegal deprivation of liberty for the purpose of causing harm, the Union Tribune reported.
If convicted, the couple face 60 years in prison.
The boy’s father, Pascual Castro, is not a U.S. citizen but went to the office of Rep. Darrell Issa for help getting his son back to the U.S. after hearing of the news.
“We will do everything in our power to get him out of this abusive situation and into a safe and stable environment where he can get the help he so desperately needs,” Issa said in an emailed statement to the Union Tribune. “This is absolutely heartbreaking.”
Where the boy ultimately ends up, however, depends on the special prosecutor for the rights of children in Mexico City, Mexican Consul General in San Diego Marcela Celorio told the Union Tribune.
Pascual Castro told El Universal he had recently seen videos of his son and thought everything was OK.
“I never thought they would treat him like this. It hurts me a lot, my poor son,” he said. “I feel terrible about this.”
The child’s grandmother, Virginia Sanderson, told the Union Tribune she did not know the boy had been sent to live in Mexico.
She said Castro had won custody after his separation from the boy’s mother, Dawn Sanderson, who is a U.S. citizen.
Virginia Sanderson said her daughter has turned her life around and can now care for her son.
She also said she did not trust Pascual Castro and thinks the boy should be “reunited with his mother.”