Merced County deputies recently arrested a 42-year-old North Carolina man after he attempted to commit suicide. The man planned on dying alongside his 2-year-old daughter. Both were saved after the man’s former girlfriend contacted the authorities.
North Carolina Man Locked Himself and Daughter Inside Makeshift Gas Chamber
Last week, Gerardo Ruiz-Lopez, a 49-year-old Merced County resident, was found guilty of child abuse and attempted murder. For his deeds, Ruiz-Lopez could serve seven years to life in prison.
According to court documents, on the 16th of July 2016, Ruiz-Lopez’s former girlfriend contacted the authorities after receiving a blood-curdling message from the North Carolina man.
The woman told the authorities that the message hinted at Ruiz-Lopez murdering his daughter.
Minutes later, the first responders broke down the man’s front door. The man and his daughter were found unresponsive in a closet.
According to the police report, the North Carolina man was adamant about ending his life. Subsequently, inside his home, the authorities discovered a makeshift gas chamber. The contraption was powered by two five-gallon propane tanks.
Moreover, next to the closets the investigators found several pillows, some toys, and a tablet. Later, the bomb squad was called in to dispose of the propane tank.
As a precaution, the authorities cordoned off Ruiz-Lopez’s home and evacuated the neighborhood.
Fortunately, the ER doctors managed to save the 2-year-old child and her father. The North Carolina man offered no motive for his actions.
After his indictment, Ruiz-Lopez pleaded not guilty by reasons of insanity. Later on, dismissed the legal ground, stating that the man was previously found mentally fit by a court-appointed psychiatrist.
Ruiz-Lopez will remain locked in John Latorraca Correctional facility until his next court appearance. In conclusion, man could spend the rest of his days behind bars.
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