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Wealthy Dad Charged After 11-Year-Old Son Dies in Boat Accident

Javier Burillo, member of one of Mexico's richest families, hit with manslaughter charges
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2019 9:25 AM CDT
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Tiburon Police Chief Mike Cronin answers a reporter's question, with Fire Chief Richard Pearce at his side, during a news conference in Tiburon, Calif., on Monday.   (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
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(Newser) – A family outing on San Francisco Bay ended in tragedy Sunday, leaving an 11-year-old boy dead and his dad, a luxury property developer and member of one of the most affluent families in Mexico, charged in his death. "We're all heartsick about it. The community is shocked," Tiburon Police Chief Michael Cronin said of the death of Javier A. Burillo's son at a Monday press conference, per the AP. Cronin reported that Burillo had been cruising in the Bay near Angel Island with his 11-year-old son and 27-year-old son, when both sons were thrown into the water; authorities speculate Burillo may have crashed into a wave. Cronin said Burillo dragged them both back onto the boat and drove the boat to a Tiburon yacht club, where the younger son was pronounced dead.

The police chief said it was Burillo himself who called authorities Sunday evening. It's "every parent's worst nightmare," Cronin said, noting that Burillo is a well-liked member of the Tiburon-Belvedere community, per KGO. Burillo failed a later Breathalyzer test, authorities say. Property documents list Burillo's full name as Javier Burillo Azcarraga; the AP notes the Azcarraga family founded the Grupo Televisa mass media empire in Mexico. Burillo's grown son was taken to a hospital with leg lacerations and has since spoken with police, though it's not clear what info he revealed. Burillo has been charged on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with a vessel, willful harm or injury to a child, and operating a boat while under the influence. Jail records show he was released Monday on $1 million bail. (Read more manslaughter stories.)

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