'Light-Spirited' Idaho Toddler Allegedly Beaten to Death in Assault Doctors Compared to a Car Crash

A 22-year-old Bigfoot, Idaho, man stands accused of attacking his girlfriend's toddler son so violently that the boy was twice declared brain-dead

Photo: GoFundMe

A 22-year-old Idaho man stands accused of attacking his girlfriend’s toddler son so violently last month that the boy was twice declared brain-dead, PEOPLE confirms.

Jesus Adan Castillo is charged with the murder of Zachary Tendoy, his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son, who authorities first found lying limp on the floor of his home with vomit on his chest. Court records suggest the child’s pupils were fully dilated and his skin was blue.

Castillo initially called the Bingham County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Office on March 23 and claimed Zachary had fallen out of his crib while he was showering and the boy’s mother was asleep, records show.

A CT scan revealed, however, that the child had suffered multiple skull fractures on both sides of his head, and police documents allege he had brain swelling.

Doctors determined Zachary also had tears in his major blood vessels and valves as well as retinal hemorrhaging in his eyes. They told investigators that such injuries were comparable to those sustained in a 70-mph car crash, court records show.

Any attack that inflicted such trauma was “very violent,” the doctors said.

Under further questioning by police, Castillo allegedly began admitting to repeatedly assaulting Zachary after first becoming upset by the boy’s “whining.”

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As the suspect then described it to authorities — as alleged in court documents obtained by PEOPLE — he began to attack Zachary after his mother was asleep.

He said he’d been drinking with the boy’s mother and went to take a shower when she went to bed, but he realized Zachary had crawled out of his crib.

He allegedly said he returned the boy to his crib and gave him a bottle but then pushed Zachary “as hard as he could” because the child started “whining.” The boy fell into a door jamb but continued to follow Castillo, “bothering him,” the man allegedly said.

Blackfoot Police

Eventually Castillo allegedly kicked, struck and shook Zachary several times before putting him back in his playpen. The little boy was later found unresponsive on his back, Castillo allegedly told authorities.

He was arrested on felony charges of aggravated battery and felony injury to child. After Zachary’s death, prosecutors upgraded the charges to include first-degree murder.

Castillo remains in the Bingham County Jail on a $1 million bond. He faces life in prison if convicted.

His attorney was unavailable for comment. He has yet to plea to the charges against him and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

Victim ‘Loved to Smile’

Authorities said that after Zachary’s death, his organs were donated to eight children in need.

His family could not immediately be reached for comment, but his godmother, Bianey Osuna, described him in a GoFundMe as “very happy and light-spirited,” according to EastIdahoNews.com.

“He loved to smile and laugh,” Osuna wrote. “He loved to sing and dance to anything he could hear.”

She told the site in March that Zachary’s mother was struggling with the loss: “I have talked to her every day since this happened. She really isn’t doing well, but she is staying strong for her other child.”

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