The body of 5-year-old Sierra Patino was found Monday by family members who noticed a strong smell in her family's apartment.
Houston police have now charged her mother, 27-year-old Priscilla Torres, and mother's missing boyfriend Santiago Esparza, with Sierra's death.
"Torres told police she and Sierra had moved into the Esparza's apartment on Aug. 23 and he offered to give the girl a bath. She says the bathroom door was closed.
Torres said she opened the door and saw chemical burns on Sierra’s skin and redness and bruising on her forehead.
That was the second version of her story, according to prosecutors.
Torres initially said she was the one who gave Sierra a bath. She said she left her daughter alone for a few minutes and when she came back, there was an empty bottle of toilet cleaner floating in the tub."
"Torres said she and Esparza agreed to put Sierra to bed that evening without calling 911.
Torres told police she never called for help because she feared CPS would take her child. She thought her daughter’s burns would heal without treatment.
She said Sierra died the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 27. She told police she wrapped Sierra’s body in a blanket and put her in a bedroom closet without calling police.
The 27-year-old claims she kept Sierra’s body in a closet because she couldn’t bear to let her go."
Torres is being held on a reduced $50,000 bond and is being charged with tampering with a human corpse. Her boyfriend, Esparza, will presumably face much stiffer charges if Torres' story is proved to be true.
We understand that children are curious, even at the age of 5 but, we're questioning the tale that Sierra drank toilet bowl cleaner on her own.
Once again, we have to have the conversation with women about letting their "boyfriends" and random men watch, babysit and BATHE their daughters. We don't care how good the man is to YOU, it's your job to protect your children.