Mendota Teen Admits To Killing 4-Year-Old Alex Mercado

FRESNO, Calif. Raul Castro is charged as an adult with sexually assaulting and drowning his 4-year-old neighbor in Mendota. A judge set Castro's bail at more than $2-million.

Action News has learned Castro's father is a convicted sex offender who spent three years in prison.

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The boy's grandmother is baffled about what happened in Mendota. Castro's Grandmother said, "He was nice kid. He stayed in my house long time."

Castro's grandmother became emotional before the 14-year-old entered court. Investigators claim Castro admitted to sexually assaulting and killing Alex Mercado last weekend in Mendota.

After the sexual assault, investigators revealed in court documents, "Castro said the victim started crying and told Castro he was going to tell his mother. Castro said he panicked and decided to kill the victim by drowning him in the bathtub … Castro got into the bathtub with the victim, held him down until the victim died. Castro checked the victim's pulse, moved his shoulders, and saw that the victim was dead."

Alex Mercado Memorial Fund
Account # 0261977268
Westamerica Bank

A search of court records revealed Raul Castro's mother Elsa Castro filed to divorce the boy's father in 1996. That separation came after the DA charged Raul's father, Jose Antonio Castro, with molesting a boy in Mendota.

A judge convicted Jose and sent him to prison. Jose served a three year term. Despite the boy's troubled background, his family is shocked with Alex's murder.

The grandmother said her heart goes out to Alex's family.

Raul Castro did not enter a plea because his attorney needs to gather more information. He returns to court next week.

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