Wealthy developer arrested in death of son, 11, who fell off boat in San Francisco Bay

Wealthy developer arrested in death of son, 11, who fell off boat in San Francisco Bay

By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News

A wealthy property developer who is a member of a powerful Mexican family was arrested on manslaughter charges after his 11-year-old son died after he fell into San Francisco Bay during a family boating trip.

Javier A. Burillo, 57, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with a vessel, willful harm or injury to a child and operating a boat while under the influence, according to the police chief of Tiburon, a bayside town in Marin County north of San Francisco.

Two sons of Burillo, the 11-year-old and a 27-year-old, both fell off the boat near Angel Island, just north of Alcatraz, on Sunday evening, according to a statement from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. They were both struck by the boat as they tried to get back on.

Once they made it back on the boat, they were brought to the Corinthian Yacht Club, where the 11-year-old was pronounced dead, according to the sheriff’s office. The 27-year-old was hospitalized, NBC Bay Area reported.

Investigators believe Burillo’s sons were thrown from the boat when it hit a wave, Tiburon Police Chief Michael Cronin said during a news conference Monday. “It’s a tragedy. We’re all heartsick about it,” he said, adding that Burillo is a well-known and liked member of the Tiburon-Belvedere community.

He said Burillo contacted authorities.

Online jail records show he was arrested later Sunday night and released on $1 million bail Monday afternoon.

Burillo, whose full name is Javier Burillo Azcarraga, is a property developer with high-end hotels and restaurants in Mexico and other projects throughout California and Texas, according to NBC Bay Area and the Marin Independent Journal. His family owns Televisa, a Mexico-based mass media corporation.

A 1989 New York Times wedding story announced his marriage to Alejandra Aleman, the daughter of late Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés.

Burillo and his current wife, Rose, whom he has been married to for about 20 years, have a pending divorce case in Marin County, the Marin Independent Journal reported, citing court files.

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