Grandfather Charged In Central Texas Infant's Death

Published: Aug. 2, 2015 at 2:07 PM CDT
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John Earl Furnace, Jr. was in the Milam County Jail Thursday charged with manslaughter and endangering a child in the death of his infant grandson.

Milam County Sheriff David Greene says there is still no word on the whereabouts of the boy's mother Victoria Castro, who's named in warrants charging abandoning a child and endangering a child.

Benjamin Castro drowned on July 19 at a home at 1401 Milam County Road 322.

The arrest warrants were issued late last week.

“During an extensive investigation, Chief Deputy Chris White and Lieutenant John Mendoza discovered several discrepancies in the details of incident,” the Milam County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

An arrest warrant affidavit says Furnace found the boy underwater in the bathtub at around 10:30 p.m. on July 19 after his daughter and her husband spent the day at Furnace’s home and decided to leave her three children with him “until they could return at a later date.”

Furnace told an investigator he was distracted by another of the children, a 2-year-old girl, who he said was “running around with her diaper off.”

He said when he found the boy face-down in the tub when he went to brush his teeth.

But the third child, also a girl, told an investigator that “Benjamin had drown” and that he was in the tub with the 2-year-old girl at the time.

She told investigators that Furnace’s son, who was also the resident, was the one who found the boy in the tub.

She said Furnace “did not even check on them” while the two were in the tub.

Furnace’s son corroborated the third child’s story.

Based on that information, Furnace was also charged with child endangerment for leaving the 2-year-old girl in the tub with the infant.