" A 10-year-old boy was apparently mimicking Saddam Hussein's execution when he hanged himself from a bunk bed, police and family members said.
Sergio Pelico was found dead Sunday in his apartment bedroom after watching a news report on the execution of the former Iraqi leader, said Webster Police Lt. Tom Claunch.
"Our gut reaction is that he was experimenting," Claunch said after officials spoke with family members. An autopsy of the fifth-grader's body was pending.
Julio Gustavo, Sergio's uncle, described the boy as happy and curious. He said Sergio had watched TV news with another uncle on Saturday and asked the uncle about Saddam's death.
"His uncle told him it was because Saddam was real bad," Gustavo said. "He (Sergio) said, 'OK.' And that was it."
"I don't think he thought it was real," Gustavo said. "They showed them putting the noose around his neck and everything. Why show that on TV?"
Sergio's mother, Sara Pelico DeLeon, was at work Sunday and her children were being watched by a relative when one of them found Sergio's body, Gustavo said.
Police said the boy had tied a slipknot around his neck while on a bunk bed. Sergio had been upset about not getting a Christmas gift from his father, police said, but they don't believe he intentionally killed himself. Gustavo said the boy's father lives in New Jersey.
Family members held a memorial for the boy Wednesday in the apartment complex activity center. Gustavo said the family is trying to put together enough money to send Sergio's body to Guatemala for burial."
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