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Father who beat toddler to death still a mystery to investigators

TURLOCK — What was going on behind those hollow eyes? Sergio Aguiar, a 27-year-old Turlock man who savagely beat his 25-month-old son to death on a quiet country road, remained a mystery to law enforcement this morning.

"So far from our detectives investigation there's no answer," said Sheriff's Deputy Royjindar Singh. "Everything is normal, normal, normal, then the incident, then the beating. He just snapped."

Aguiar was separated from his wife, Frances, who lived with the 2-year-old in a Turlock apartment complex. She was in Southern California when brutal attack unfolded on West Bradbury Road in rural Stanislaus County, 10 miles west of Turlock. Authorities did not say why she was there, how long the couple had been married or what precipitated the separation.

Aguiar had moved to Turlock legally from Mexico, Singh said. Detectives have contacted his family, who is expected in California this week to talk with investigators and handle funeral arrangements. He is not thought to have relatives in the area.

Modesto police officer Jerry Ramar, who was dropped on the scene via helicopter, shot Aguiar in the head. Aguiar has no known criminal history in Mexico or the United States. He spoke of "demons" in the child during the attack, but investigators have found no signs of previous mental illness.

"There's no reason why someone would do this," Singh said. "It doesn't make sense."

Aguiar worked at FoodMaxx, a grocery store on Fulkerth Road owned by Save Mart Supermarkets. Store employees are in shock and counseling services have been made available, a spokesperson said this morning.

Information on a memorial or burial fund and funeral arrangements for the toddler has not been made public.

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