Angel Rico was found wandering along Interstate 20 midway between Lubbock and Saginaw. He is now out of the hospital after doctors removed hundreds of cactus needles stuck in his body.
Angel's father, Carlos Rico, 22, from Lubbock, is charged with endangering a child. According to Sweetwater Police Chief Jim Kelly, Rico and Angel were headed to see family in Saginaw. After stopping and tossing Angel out of his truck, Rico traveled to Eastland where he stopped a gas station and told people he killed his child.
"As he was getting back into his pickup there was a dead bird on the grill of his pickup and the bird told him the son is not dead. He gets to Saginaw where he was talking to his brother, his brother is trying to get him to tell him where the child is. He can't give him a good explanation," Kelly said.
Rico's brother told him to confess to authorities in Saginaw. Rico told police he choked his son before leaving him. He described it as a religious experience, Kelly said. Rico said God told him to kill his son.
Kelly said officers will bring Rico back to Sweetwater from Saginaw on Wednesday night. Sweetwater basketball coach Al Hunt found the young boy around 6:30 a.m. while driving his son to a golf tournament. The boy was thought to have been tossed on the side of the road at about 3 a.m.
Angel had more than 400 cactus spines in his body when found, and Kelly said the Rolling Plains Memorial hospital had to sedate him to get the spines out. CPS spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner says Angel will remain with them until they do a full investigation.
Meisner says they usually want to keep children with their family, a policy they will take into consideration with this case.
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