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Man charged with daughter’s murder had substance abuse problems, family says

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Family members are speaking out after a 27-year-old Oceanside man was arrested for the murder of his own daughter, saying he has substance abuse issues and a criminal past.

Police were called to the home of  27-year-old Pedro Araujo Wednesday after his mother reported that Araujo had blood all over him when she came to the home to pick up her granddaughters. They found a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of the home with major trauma to her upper body. A second, 6-year-old child is safe and in the grandmother's custody.

Family members on the girls’ mother’s side of the family say Araujo had a history of run-ins with the law. Court records reveal he’s been involved in five criminal cases between April 2015 and October of 2018.

Pedro Araujo

"When that happens, you know some thing is going to go on and the kids are the ones that pay for it. That’s what the tragedy is right now," said Aurelio Avina, the victim's great uncle.

Avina also mentioned Araujo's history with substance abuse.

"She’s gone and it’s her own father, her own dad and that’s what happens when you get involved with drugs and alcohol," Avina said.

Adrianna Avina, who identified herself as the victim's aunt, told FOX 5, "we love this baby and it’s a tragedy for all of us. We’re just in shock, overall in shock right now."

The young victim's great uncle also said Araujo and the child's mother were separated and shared custody, though Araujo's mother was mainly the person helping with the kids.

The girl was a student at San Luis Rey Elementary. Principal Dominic Camacho sent the following statement to the school's community:

“Today, we learned of a passing of one of our students. We are deeply saddened by what has occurred. Our hearts, prayers, and thoughts are with the family. As always, our first concern is for the safety and well being of our students. This is a difficult time for the family and we need to let them mourn. Please keep the family in your thoughts.”

Araujo was booked into jail in Vista and charged with murder. He will have his first appearance in court Friday.

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