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Violent: Police are hunting Juan Garcia, left, who beat two-year-old Jorge Zamora-Rogel, right, to death
Police are hunting a man who beat his girlfriend's two-year-old son to death because he would not eat his dinner.
Juan Garcia, 18, had moved in to the home of Wendy Rogel-Pagasa, 18, in Phoenix, Arizona, only days before he killed her son, Jorge, in a fit of rage.
According to court documents released yesterday, Garcia became increasingly angry when the toddler would not eat the food he had brought home last Friday.
Arrested: Wendy Rogel-Pagasa was arrested on suspicion of failing to protect her son
Garcia gripped the boy by the ear and pulled him out of his bedroom.
When the child started to cry, Garcia became more infuriated and grabbed him by the throat, repeatedly slamming his head against the wall and knocking him unconscious.
When Rogel-Pagasa begged Garcia to stop, he whipped her with an electrical cord and attempted to choke her.
After the attack, Garcia left the home for about one-and-a-half hours and Rogel-Pagasa watched as her bleeding, unconscious son convulsed on the floor.
She tried unsuccessfully to revive him, but did not call for help, according to police.
When Garcia returned, he tried to rouse the child by hitting him more, lifting him up by his ankle, bending his fingers back, and slapping him in the face.
It wasn't until Jorge stopped breathing that Rogel-Pagasa called 911 - more than three hours after the initial beating, police said. By then, Garcia had fled. Phoenix fire paramedics pronounced the child dead at the scene.
Police said Rogel-Pagas initially told them her boy got hurt by falling over before admitting what had really happened. She was later arrested and held on one count of child abuse on suspicion of failing to protect her son.
Sgt. Trent Crump, who is dealing with the case, urged anyone with information about the whereabouts of Garcia to come forward.
‘He killed a child with his bare hands,’ Sgt. Crump told Azcentral.com. ‘We're going to find him. And anybody who gets in the way of that is going to go to jail as well.’