MEADOW LAKE, N.M. - A 12-year-old was killed by his friend Tuesday, according to the Valencia County sheriff.
Alex Madrid, 12, was killed by Brandon Villalobos, 15, Sheriff Louis Burkhard said.
"My son was into riding his bike and into his family and he loved his baby sister, his brothers, his older sister and me," said Roxanne Madrid in an interview with ABC affiliate KOAT News.
Villalobos was arrested and has been charged with first-degree murder, as well as evidence tampering , the station reported.
Villalobos' father believes his son is innocent. He told KOAT his son suffers from a number of mental illnesses, including ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Madrid’s mother reported her son missing Tuesday afternoon. His body was found a short time later.
One of the first people deputies went to talk to was Villalobos, as authorities said the boys had been hanging out on and off since Sunday.
Though Madrid is from Albuquerque, Burkhard said he was in Meadow Lake visiting family.
A witness saw the boys walking hours before Madrid’s body was found and said Villalobos was carrying a bat. Burkhard did not say whether that was the murder weapon.
He did say what happened was not an accident, however.
Villalobos is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Albuquerque.