Family questions autistic teen's confession in nephew's drowning death

Dayvid Pakko

KIRO

EVERETT, Wash. – The teen cousin of a 6-year-old autistic boy whose body was found in a trash can has been charged with first-degree murder, domestic violence.

Police say Andrew Henckel, 19, admitted to drowning Dayvid Pakko in the bathtub while he was babysitting, then wrapping him in a blanket, placing him inside a cardboard box, and disposing of his body outside the apartment where the boy lived. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Henckel has also reportedly been diagnosed with autism and the Seattle Times reports that at his Thursday hearing, his attorney argued that he shouldn't be held based only on the statements he made to police without an attorney.

The Seattle Times reports that Henckel's attorney told the judge on Wednesday that her client is  "prone to respond compliantly to requests and demands."

Henckel's father told CBS affiliate KIRO the he worried his son would not have understood a Miranda warning.

"He hasn't had any interactions with the law whatsoever," Randy Henckel said. "So, this process of bringing him in and interrogating him with his autism, makes me question the validity of anything he said without legal counsel present or a family member present."  

The Seattle Times reports that the prosecutor argued that Henckel's confession was not coerced and that police had physical evidence to corroborate his story.

According to the arrest report, Henckel initially told police he'd fallen asleep while babysitting and awoke to find Dayvid gone. Once the boy's body was found, however, Henckel was transported to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and questioned. He signed a document saying he wished to waive his Miranda rights and agreed to a recorded interview without an attorney present.

Court documents state that Henckel finished high school with A's and B's and had previously been employed at a U-Haul store. Police also say that Henckel told them he wasn't aware of any disability he has or limitations in his daily life.

County prosecutors have until Nov. 3 to charge Henckel in Superior Court.