HOUSTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A Texas mother was arrested earlier this week after her 5-year-old daughter’s body was found rotting in an apartment closet, police said.
Houston police arrested 27-year-old Priscilla Torres on Tuesday and charged her with tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse.
According to police, Torres’ parents, who were concerned about 5-year-old Sierra Patino, visited her boyfriend’s apartment and complained about a foul odor. This was when Torres told them that the odor was coming from the child’s body.
Officers responded to the apartment after the parents called 911. Police say they found the child’s body wrapped in blankets inside a closet.
According to police, Torres told detectives that the body was in the closet for about six days.
KTRK reported that Torres has not given police a clear story about what led to Sierra’s death. According to police, she told them that her daughter died in an accident involving a bottle of toilet cleaner that fell into a tub where she was giving the child a bath.
Investigators then said she changed her story and said that her boyfriend was the one who was giving her daughter a bath at the time. She told police she saw her daughter was suffering from chemical burns.
According to police, one of her stories claimed the 5-year-old had suffered from stomach complications.
Police said Torres told them that she didn’t call authorities because she was afraid Child Protective Services would take her daughter away from her.
Ultimately, the child’s body was found in the closet of the apartment unit and the medical examiner is working to find out exactly how she died.
“Defendant neglected her duty to support her child with proper medical care, especially in case of extreme injury. Failed to seek appropriate and immediate care and concealed evidence of this homicide charge which may be filed later, judge, when autopsy is completed on the child,” a prosecutor said.
Torres’ bond was set at $50,000 but prosecutors are working to double that amount.
KTRK reported that prosecutors said Torres is a flight risk if she is released from jail and that they believe her boyfriend, who’s accused of a being a documented gang member, could hide her in Mexico.
Torres’ boyfriend has not been charged in the case of the 5-year-old’s death.