Houston police found new mom Carolina Flores, [left], stabbed to death in a northeast Houston apt on Tuesday. She’d suffered multiple stab wounds and her 6-weeks-old baby, Shamali [right], was missing
Authorities in Houston arrested a woman hoping to hide her own miscarriage in the stabbing death of a Texas mother and the disappearance of her infant.
Houston police found 6-week-old Shamali Flores after detectives were alerted to a suspicious-looking male and female handling a newborn baby, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference Thursday. Based on pictures, detectives determined the newborn was the missing child.
Erika J. Miranda-Alvarez, was arrested and formally charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of Carolina Flores and the abduction of the victim’s weeks-old baby
Erika J. Miranda-Alvarez, 28 was arrested Thursday morning at an apartment at 9707 South Gessner, Houston. She was formally charged with capital murder in this ongoing investigation, Houston police announced
Shamali had been missing since Tuesday, when a family member found her mother, Carolina Flores, dead in a Houston apartment from multiple stab wounds. At the time, the baby girl was nowhere to be found, police said.
Erika Jisela Miranda-Alvarez was charged with capital murder in Flores’ death, though her boyfriend is not yet facing any charges. He remains under investigation, police said. Police said Alvarez was friends with Flores’ brother and has been a friend of the family for several years.
Houston police found Ms Flores’ 6-week-old baby Shamali Flores, safe in a Houston apt, following a tip
A $5,000 reward was being offered for information on Flores’ murder and Shamali’s whereabouts. Houston Police chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference Wednesday the suspect was “familiar with this family and familiar with this neighborhood. The individual who abducted Shamali may be a woman who has or will present the child as their own, and may even indicate the child was recently born.”
The police chief noted after the arrest Thursday the theory “proved to be accurate.”
“This woman was due to have a baby in January and she lost that baby,” Acevedo explained. “She continued to fake her pregnancy with loved ones and on Dec. 19, she went to the home of our victim and brutalized and murdered her.”
Acevedo also acknowledged an arrest would not have been possible without “community policing and community trust” as well as assistance from the FBI.
In urging residents to come forward with tips ahead of the arrest, Acevedo recognized “mistrust” from the immigrant community toward police and emphasized tips can be submitted anonymously.
“We want to make sure that people understand that our one focus … our only goal is to bring justice to this family and that baby back to where she belongs,” he said. “We’re not interested in anybody’s immigration status.”
Police found Carolina Flores, [Photo, seen here with Shamali], dead with multiple stab wounds in a NE Houston apt on Tuesday
Officials initially thought Shamali was taken by her father, Marcos Mariano Palacios. He’d also been operating under the alias Thomas Bernardez, KHOU reported.
Authorities found him in San Antonio Tuesday night and he has been cooperating with the investigation.
Palacios denied involvement in the crime and has since been released.