SWEETWATER, TX (KCBD) - A court hearing on July 7 will determine custody of a 4-year-old boy named Angel who was abandoned Tuesday by his father. The boy was found wandering along Interstate 20 midway between Lubbock and Saginaw.
Angel's father — Carlos Rico, 22, from Lubbock — is charged with endangering a child.
According to Sweetwater Police Chief Jim Kelly, Rico confessed to authorities in Saginaw to choking the boy and leaving him for dead on the roadside. Rico described it as a religious experience, Kelly said. Rico said God told him to kill his son.
Kelly said officers will bring Rios 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, Kelly said. The boy was thought to be 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 says the Rolling Plains Memorial hospital had to sedate him to get the spines out.
People from the community have brought food, toys and clothes for the boy, and his stepmother — Isabell Serina, 18 — came from Lubbock to be with him in the hospital.
Kelly said Angel is now out of the hospital and in Child Protective Services custody.
CPS spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner tells us 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.
The DA will have a grand jury decided if Rico's charges will be upgraded to attempted capital murder, Kelly said.