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2 boys dead after playground beating

Children Injured
Joe Sauceda Gallegos, 36, was arrested in connection with an attack on two young boys .Maricopa County Sheriff's Office / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

The second of two boys who were severely beaten during an attack at a park three days ago has died, police said Friday.

Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said 10-year-old Edwin Pellecier died Friday afternoon. His 7-year-old cousin, Jesse Ramirez, died of his injuries early Friday.

Police arrested 36-year-old Joe Sauceda Gallegos within hours of the attack. Gallegos made an initial court appearance Wednesday on two counts of child abuse and dangerous crimes against children.

Thompson said he will now face two first-degree murder charges as well.

Doctors told police they believe the boys were bludgeoned repeatedly with a baseball bat or similar object. Police say they found a bat in Gallegos' home along with clothing that appeared to be bloodstained.

'Brutal, vicious attack'
"It was just a brutal, vicious attack that didn't need to happen," Thompson said.

Thompson said Gallegos, who lived nearby, followed the two boys to the small neighborhood park and attacked them, then walked back to his home. Police don't know a motive.

Police said video from a surveillance camera mounted on a house near the park showed the boys walking toward the park, followed a minute later by a man carrying an object that looked like a bat. The occupant of the house said the man looked like his neighbor, Gallegos.

An uncle of Gallegos, Joe Sauceda, told police that he believed Gallegos had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic. The uncle also said Gallegos had told authorities about six months ago that he killed his sons in his attic, but police never found any such victims at the house. Gallegos' sons live with their mother in Colorado and are the same ages as the boys who were attacked.