The Texas mother who reportedly kept her daughter’s dead body in a closet has blamed the 5-year-old girl’s death on her boyfriend.
Torres reportedly gave police conflicting accounts about how her daughter Sierra Patino died. At one point she said that her daughter had been having stomach problems but that she did not call 911 out of fear that CPS would become involved. The mother also said that she had been giving her daughter a bath when a bottle of toilet cleaner fell into the tub, appearing to burn her skin, and that the girl died the next day.
She later changed the story again, claiming it was her boyfriend Santiago Esperanza who gave her daughter a bath while Torres was cooking dinner.
“The door was closed and upon opening the door, she observed her boyfriend with the daughter,” police told ABC 13 about the account the suspect gave detectives.
“She said daughter was exhibiting chemical burns to her extremities, also some redness and bruises to forehead.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Esperanza is expected to be charged with tampering with evidence – the same charge Torres is facing following her arrest earlier this week.
“We believe he was in the apartment with Priscilla Torres and that they acted together,” Harris County Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtelle told the news outlet.
Sawtelle also said that Sierra had signs of chemical burns on her skin when police found her body, and that he is not convinced the chemical that caused the burns was toilet bowl cleaner. As ABC 13 reported, the body was decaying by the time police discovered it, after family members alerted them.
The prosecutor reportedly added the Torres and Epseranza, believed to be a gang member, left the apartment for three nights after leaving the girl’s body in a closet, first going to a hotel in hotel in Jacinto City, then to Galveston, where they stayed for two nights.
Torres is reportedly being held on $50,000 bond. If she is able to make bail, she will be required to wear an ankle bracelet monitor and cannot have any contact with Esperanza.
It is unclear at this time if or where Epseranza is in custody.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
[Feature image: Sierra Patino and Priscilla Torres/Facebook]