LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The body of a 6-year-old boy with autism was found in a dumpster at his Lynnwood apartment building Tuesday.
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office reports his 19-year-old uncle admitted to drowning him in a bathtub, putting him in a box, and then throwing him in a dumpster.
- Dayvid Pakko last seen Monday afternoon
- He stayed home from school under care of his uncle
- Body found in dumpster at apartment building Tuesday
- 19-year-old uncle from Texas arrested
- The 19-year-old admitted to killing David, authorities say
Dayvid Pakko's disappearance
According to the sheriff’s office and relatives, Dayvid, who lives with his mother, stayed home sick from school Monday.
While Dayvid's mother was at work, he was under the care of his mother's boyfriend and her 19-year-old brother, Andrew Henckel, who was staying with them while he was visiting from Kerrville,Texas.
According to probable cause documents, the boyfriend left the house to run errands around 2 p.m. and Dayvid was left alone with Henckel.
When the boyfriend returned home about an hour later, Dayvid was gone.
The boy was reported missing at about 5 p.m. Monday.
Crews, including 100 volunteers, searched the area of 44th Avenue West between 156th Street and State Route 99, just outside the Lynnwood city limits.
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The 'tragic ending to a long search operation'
Authorities said the body was found in a dumpster at the Bristol Square Apartment complex on 44th Avenue West at about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
"It's a tragic ending to a long search operation," said sheriff's office spokeswoman Shari Ireton.
The body was found by officers with the violent offenders task force. In cases of missing children, the officers, who represent several law enforcement agencies, are deployed to check on registered sex offenders in the area. That's when they found the child's body.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said there was evidence that Dayvid was a victim of homicide.
Detectives processed the crime scene for hours on Tuesday.
Arrest of 19-year-old uncle
Officers took Henckel into custody on Tuesday, and he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for first-degree murder.
Probable cause documents say Henckel told police he developed this plan to kill Dayvid about an hour before his sister's boyfriend left the house, but no motive was given.
According to the sheriff's office, Henckel admitted to filling a bathtub with water with the intention of drowning Dayvid. He then called the boy to the bathroom, picked him up and placed him face down in the water, according to authorities.
Henckel held the boy's head underneath the water for approximately 30 seconds before Dayvid became still. He was left face down in the water for nearly six minutes, according to authorities. The 19-year-old wrapped the boy's body in a blanket and placed him in a cardboard box, which he used to dispose of the body in the nearest garbage dumpster.
Probable cause documents say that during questioning, when detectives asked Henckel what happens when someone drowns, Henckels said, “Lungs fill with water.”
When asked what happens then, he replied, “They die.”
When asked what he was trying to do, he replied, “Kill him."
Documents say that Henckel estimated the time from when the boyfriend left to when he threw Dayvid in the dumpster was about 40 minutes.
Reports indicate Henckel has a form of autism, but he hasn’t been formally diagnosed and is not taking medication.
Community holds vigil
By Tuesday evening, dozens of people had dropped off candles, balloons, notes and flowers at a memorial for Dayvid outside Bristol Square Apartments. Samantha Burden's 8-year-old son, Kaedyn, was friends with the victim.
"We used to wrestle and play," Kaedyn said.
Burden said the kids often played together on the playground.
"Just thinking about what (Dayvid) went through, it's just disgusting," she said.
Phillip Edwards, a friend of the Pakko family, described the child as an energetic, sweet boy.
"He loved Legos, he was brilliant. Smart as a whip," Edwards said. "I don't understand why a person could go through such lengths with such a small child."
Gabriela Moore, a postal worker, lives nearby and watched helicopters fly over the apartment complex Monday, when investigators thought Dayvid was missing. Investigators said the child was mildly autistic.
"It's not your child, but it hits home," Moore said. "There's no words. There really are no words."
Creekside Church also held a vigil for Dayvid at the Mountlake Terrace campus Tuesday evening.
Cox Media Group