"He'd run around playing, play with a ball," said neighbor Nate Santos.
Gilbert Escamilla can't play with a ball anymore or run around with his friends. The 3-year-old died Thursday; burns, cuts and bruises were found on his body.
The women investigators charged for the death and torture of the child are the ones meant to protect him.
Gilbert's mom, 24-year-old Connie Escamilla, is charged with her own son's murder. Her 20-year-old fiancé, Kylie Beasley, is charged with murder and torture, according to the Modesto Police Department.
"They would just always walking around holding hands, just looked like normal people -- you never would know," said neighbor April La Fleur.
Investigators said a 911 call Wednesday night reported Gilbert wasn't breathing. Emergency crews rushed to the Emerald Pointe apartment complex on Standiford Avenue. Gilbert was taken to a hospital and died.
Neighbor Nate Santos said he knows the suspects.
"They had moved in, they were cool," Santos said. "The way they talked, didn't think nothing out of the ordinary."
Escamilla also has a 7-year-old daughter and she was placed with child protective services. Santos said he saw her but didn't see Gilbert as much.
"They walked with the daughter a lot, it didn't really hit me, like, where is the son at?" Santos said.
The Modesto Police Department couldn't say how long Gilbert was abused for or what his cause of death is.
The suspects are being held at the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center.
The department said on Jan. 24 a neighbor reported two women fighting in the suspects apartment. When officers got on scene both women said they didn't need police assistance. Neither suspect has been previously arrested in Stanislaus County.