POLICE: Mother of 5-year-old girl found dead in closet arrested

Crime

HOUSTON – The mother of a 5-year-old girl whose body was found in a closet at a northwest Houston apartment has been arrested, police said Tuesday.

Pirscilla Torres

Houston police said in a tweet that 27-year-old Priscilla Torres was charged with tampering with evidence-human corpse, in connection with the death of her daughter Sierra Patino.

Officers were called to Torres’ apartment about 3 p.m. Monday at Quail Creek Apartment at 7835 Grow Lane after the child’s grandmother made the discovery, police said.  

“It’s very troubling no matter how the child died whether it was accidental or intentional death for a body to be in a closet for several days it’s just pretty unthinkable,” said Lt. Larry Crowson, of the Houston Police Department.

Family members were visiting the child’s home and during the visit, discovered the child dead in the closet, police said. 

“The information we have right now is that the body appears to have been deceased for several days,” said Crowson.

HPD’s dispatch told KPRC that the child suffered chemical burns but investigators on the scene could not confirm that information.

“That’s one of the things we heard, we just don’t know at this point until we get the autopsy,” Crowson said.

Police said it was unclear whether the child’s death was accidental or intentional. 

Neighbor, James Bennett had a birdseye view when crime scene investigators came to his apartment complex and went inside his neighbor’s home.

“You (could) actually see them taking pictures the flashes of them through the window right there and I figure that’s where they found the body,” said Bennett. “It’s just scary to know stuff like that is going on right next door to you.”

The child’s autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, according to the medical examiner.

Police said additional charges are possible.

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