MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man accused of beating a 4-month-old child to death in Memphis was in the United States illegally and had been deported five times, according to local immigrant officials.
And he was using an alias.
Jose Avila-Agurcia – whose real name is Carlos Zuniga-Aviles – was charged with first-degree murder, along with other charges, after police said he punched the baby so hard it stopped breathing.
Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.
The child was taken to Le Bonheur in extremely critical condition, but the child was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to a police report, Zuniga-Aviles confessed that he punched the child in the head multiple times when he learned the child was not his.
The suspect was using an alias because he was an “unlawfully present Honduran national,” according to local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
FOX13 uncovered several federal documents that reveal Zuniga-Aviles has used at least four different aliases since 2010.
Zuniga-Aviles was previously deported from the U.S. in Feb. 2010, Jan. 2011, March 2012, Nov. 2015, and Dec. 2016. These removals took place in Texas, Louisiana, and Utah.
The most recent removal came when ICE Agents tracked him down after he was in custody in Salt Lake County, Utah. He was arrested in 2016 for possession of heroin and cocaine.
ICE officials said they will take Zuniga-Aviles into custody to “reinstate his removal order following the resolution of the criminal charges he currently faces.” He illegally re-entered the U.S. after being deported in 2016, which is a felony.
This arrest is Zuniga-Aguila’s first run in with law enforcement in the state of Tennessee.
Cox Media Group