Sheriff’s detectives say the boy’s body was placed in a dumpster just a few yards from the front door of his family’s apartment. No motive for the homicide has been given.
A 6-year-old boy whose body was found in a trash dumpster just yards from his front doorstep was drowned in a bathtub by a 19-year-old uncle visiting from Texas, according to Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives.
The suspect was arrested late Tuesday and booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree domestic-violence homicide. He has been cooperating with detectives, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton.
The body of Dayvid Pakko was found early Tuesday morning following an increasingly frantic search that began when the mildly autistic child — who apparently had stayed home sick from school and was left in the care of his uncle — was reported missing from the Bristol Square Apartments, in the 15700 block of 44th Avenue West, around 2 p.m. Monday.
According to a jail-booking document, detectives say the 19-year-old suspect “admitted … to filling a bathtub with water with the intention of drowning and killing” the child.
The suspect told detectives he called Dayvid into the bathroom, picked him up and forced him facedown into the water “while (the child) struggled for approximately 30 seconds before becoming still.” He then left him there while he changed his clothes.
The suspect wrapped Dayvid’s body in a blanket, put it in a box and threw it in the dumpster, just yards from the boy’s front door, according to the document.
Tuesday, the dumpster was hidden beneath a canopy keeping out a drizzle while detectives searched for evidence.
The booking information does not indicate whether the uncle said why he drowned the child.
Formal charges are expected to be filed Wednesday. The Seattle Times generally does not name a criminal suspect until charges are filed or a judge establishes probable cause.
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Within hours of the boy’s being reported missing, dozens of volunteers, accompanied by search-and-rescue professionals, were looking in bushes, trees and under cars — anywhere a frightened 6-year-old might hide or huddle. Ireton said his body was found about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Office set up a command post in front of the apartment, just yards from the dumpster where the body was found.
The cause and manner of death will be released by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.
At Beverly Elementary School, where Dayvid was in the first grade, a safe room was opened where children could speak to counselors, according to Edmonds School District spokeswoman Debbie Joyce Jakala.
“There’s been a steady stream of kids seeking adult support,” she said.
In a letter sent to school families and staff Tuesday afternoon, Beverly Principal Danielle Sanders described Dayvid as “a vivacious, loving, determined 6-year-old” who will be missed by all.
Neighbor Andrew Micallef’s backyard is adjacent to the apartment where Dayvid lived with his mother. Micallef’s 6-year-old son and Dayvid were friends and schoolmates.
“It’s just shocking,” he said Tuesday.
Micallef spent time searching Monday evening and consoled and prayed with Dayvid’s family as the evening wore on.
“I thought for sure they would find him, that he would show up,” he said. “But by 11 o’clock, it was dark and cold and raining, and that’s when I started to really get worried.”
Micallef, 48, said he went to bed after midnight with the sounds of the search still coming from outside. He woke to his wife sitting on the bed, weeping over a news report that the child’s body had been found.
“Dayvid was a really sweet kid,” Micallef said, recalling that the last time he’d seen him was after school last week. Dayvid was being escorted by one of the older students at Beverly to make sure he got to the right bus every day.
“It’s a small school and a very tight-knit community,” he said.
“My son played with him. He was a good boy,” said Micallef, who added that he had kept his son home from school on Tuesday after hearing the news.
“He knows that Dayvid is missing because of the searches yesterday,” Micallef said Tuesday afternoon. “But I haven’t been able to tell him yet that Dayvid is gone.”