HOUSTON – A 6-week-old infant has been found and a suspect has been charged with capital murder following the death of her mother, according to Houston police.
Investigators began searching for Shamali Flores after officers found her mother's body in a north Houston apartment around noon on Tuesday. Erika Jisela Miranda-Alvarez was charged on Thursday after police said she went to 33-year-old Carolina Flores’ apartment and murdered her in what investigators called a "brutal homicide."
According to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, officers were called to an apartment complex after Miranda-Alvarez, 28, and a man were seen acting suspicious with a baby that matched Shamali’s description. The infant appeared to be unharmed, but was checked at a local hospital as a precautionary measure.
Acevedo said in a press conference that Miranda-Alvarez had a miscarriage recently which she was hiding from her boyfriend.
“This is a woman who lost a baby recently and was wanting a child. She continued to fake her pregnancy with her loved one,” said Acevedo. “On Dec. 19 she went to the home of the victim and murdered her.”
Shamali was found early Thursday morning in a southwest Houston apartment, according to Houston police. She appeared to be unharmed, but was checked at a local hospital as a precautionary measure.
Police originally believed the infant was with her father, Thomas Bernardez, who was located in San Antonio late Tuesday night. Bernardez told police he was not involved in the mother’s slaying.
Miranda-Alvarez reportedly knew Flores through her brother.
Shamali is now in custody with Child Protective Services.
Capital murder can lead to the death penalty in Texas.