TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows a New Mexico father accused of letting his son drown, telling police one story after another before telling them what he says really happened. Police said Shaquille Ferguson told lie after lie for weeks after his son’s death.
Shaquille Ferguson, 27, breaks down explaining what he said happened to his son. “I didn’t know what to do,” Ferguson said in police video. “I didn’t know what to do. I walked away. I lost it.”
The body of five-year-old Shaquille Ferguson Junior was found over the summer in the Rio Grande near Truth or Consequences after the boy’s grandmother reported him missing. The woman was with Ferguson and Ferguson Jr. at Rotary Park and told officers her son had taken the boy to the river and returned without him. Ferguson told police it was a swimming experience gone bad, but it took a long time to get that out of him. Ferguson insisted that his son was with family, specifically, his wife, someone by the name of Angelica Bustamante.
When Ferguson is brought in for questioning, he initially continues with the same story. Turns out, he was never married to Angelica Bustamante. In fact, the family doesn’t exist. Then, Ferguson said the boy was actually with his wife or ex-wife, but that wasn’t true either.
Ferguson finally came clean. He said he took the boy into the water on his shoulders then slipped and lost hold of him. The boy wasn’t wearing a life jacket and did not know how to swim. “I just walked away,” Ferguson said in police video. “I could not sit there and look at him dead in front of me, okay?”
Ferguson took investigators to where he said it happened. According to the criminal complaint, a witness who saw Ferguson leave the river without the boy and said he was dry, contradicting Ferguson’s story that he was swimming with his son. Police asked him if there is more to the story. “No sir, I would never do that to my son,” Ferguson said.
Another witness who saw the father and son at a local motel a few days before the disappearance says she heard Ferguson Jr. crying out and looked into the motel room to see the boy hogtied to the bed. The cause of the boy’s death is undetermined due to the decomposition of the body. Ferguson Sr.’s mother is facing an obstruction charge in the case because police believe she withheld information.