Police probe mysterious death of 5-year-old girl after mom hides body in closet for days

Authorities in Texas have identified the mother who reportedly confessed to keeping her dead daughter’s body in a closet for days.

According to Chron.com, Houston police announced on Twitter that Priscilla Torres, 27, has been charged with tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse. She was arrested earlier this week after family members who had gone to her home to check on her daughter, five-year-old Sierra Patino, called police.

The more recent Chron.com report differs slightly from earlier local reports about the incident. According to the latest report, the relatives who had gone to the apartment out of concern for the girl noticed a foul smell, and Torres reportedly admitted to them that her daughter was dead and her body was in a closet. Earlier reports indicated that Torres first made that admission directly to the police. The newer report also indicates that it was the visiting relatives who first encountered Sierra’s body in the closet, not the police.

Further, Houston police would not confirm to Chron.com that Torres said her daughter died after ingesting a chemical, despite earlier local reports stating the mother had told police this was the cause of her daughter’s August 27 death.

Police told Chron.com. that the cause of the girl’s death remains unknown, and that investigators remain unclear if the girl died accidentally or if she was killed. A medical examiner reportedly performed an autopsy on Tuesday, but the results are pending.

Torres reportedly had no other children, and CPS had no previous involvement with the family. Torres had posted photos of her daughter on her Facebook page, which says “Mommy loves her princess,” and describes Torres as a stay-at-home mother.

It is not clear at this time where Torres is in custody. Chron.com reports that she may be facing additional charges.

CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.

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