A Texas couple whose daughter died after they left her in the backseat of a vehicle could face decades in prison, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Olga Esquivel and Angel Esquivel-Blanco, of Humble, Texas, were charged earlier this week with child abandonment in connection with the death of their 2-year-old daughter, Alicia Esquivel.
The girl died from heat exposure after the parents left her in the backseat of their vehicle for hours following a party. Prosecutors also charged Olga Esquivel with tampering with a corpse.
“Parents have a duty to protect their children,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a written statement. “And these parents will forever live with their child’s horrible death and suffer the consequences of their actions.”
Authorities allege that Olga Esquivel altered her story in interviews with police. She initially said the family slept inside their home after a Sept. 15 party, where Esquivel-Blanco become so intoxicated that he required assistance from his wife to get back into their house.
The following day, after waking up around noon, she noticed the girl was hot to the touch. It took an hour for them to call 911, she claimed, because they could not locate a cell phone while another phone was charging.
But investigators recovered images and videos from a cell phone that were created as early as 10:40 a.m. that day, which authorities believe were taken by the child. The photos and videos depicted the inside of the vehicle while the girl sounded as though she was uncomfortable.
When police interviewed Esquivel again, she acknowledged leaving Alicia in the vehicle overnight. She said she helped her husband get into the house after the party and then they both fell asleep. She did not realize the girl was still in the vehicle until noon the following day.
Esquivel said she splashed water on the girl and attempted to perform CPR before she called for help at 2:55 p.m.
Angel Esquivel-Blanco, the father, maintained that he was unaware the girl was left in the vehicle. Both parents, each of whom are 25 years old, have been charged with second-degree felonies and face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
[Feature Photo: Olga Esquivel and Angel Esquivel Blanco/Police Handout]