LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A convicted sex offender was charged Wednesday with murdering a 4-year-old boy whose body was found in a garbage truck in July.
The boy disappeared from outside his family's apartment near Churchill Downs on June 29. A city trash collector found the body of Cesar "Ivan" Aguilar-Cano in the back of a garbage truck eight days later.
Cecil Eugene New II, 46, who lived across an alley from the boy's family, was arrested Wednesday morning, Louisville police spokesman Phil Russell said.
A grand jury indicted New on charges of murder, kidnapping, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful transaction with a minor.
New's public defender, Jay Lambert, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Police searched more than a dozen apartments in the area, including New's, after Ivan disappeared. Louisville Police Lt. Barry Wilkerson, who oversees the homicide unit, has said officers went through an entire truckload of trash searching for evidence in the case.
Ivan's mother, Rosa Cano, told The Associated Press in an interview in October that whoever killed her son should receive a death sentence.
"What they did to him, that's not right," she said then.
Cano cried when she was told about New's arrest, said family spokesman Christopher 2X.
"She said, 'I just want to know why this person did this,"' 2X said.
Neighbors told police that Ivan was a curious boy who would sometimes run around the complex unsupervised. It wasn't uncommon for the boy to go through open apartment doors, they said.
Ivan was buried in August in his mother's hometown of San Juan Tapalapa, Guatemala. Cano, an illegal immigrant, was granted special permission to leave the country and return while the investigation and case were pending.
His mother had worked at Churchill Downs, walking with thoroughbreds before and after races and workouts. She left that job after her son disappeared and it became publicly known that she was in the United States illegally.
The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has granted her a special visa allowing her to stay in the country temporarily as a material witness in a criminal investigation.
New has been on the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry since March 2000 after being convicted of sodomy involving 11- and 9-year-old victims. Although he was not charged until Wednesday, his name was heavily publicized locally over the summer after a court clerk accidentally released a search warrant for his apartment.
New, who is indigent, lost his job and his personal safety was in jeopardy because of the publicity, Lambert said in July.