A Texas mom told investigators that she was too scared to call 911 when her 5-year-old daughter fell ill.
According to ABC 7, 27-year-old Priscilla Nicole Torres said she didn’t report her daughter’s chemical burns because she feared Child Protective Services would get involved. So instead, Torres hoped her daughter would get better on her own. But when she didn’t, the mom reportedly wrapped 5-year-old Sierra Patino’s body with a blanket and placed her in one of the closets in their home.
Patino was later discovered after Torres’ parents visited their daughter’s boyfriend’s house. The grandparents paid their daughter a visit because they were worried about their granddaughter’s wellbeing, whom they haven’t seen in a handful of days at that point.
As ABC 7 reports, upon walking into the home, the grandparents were met with the smell of a decaying body. They immediately called 911.
Upon being questioned by authorities, Torres allegedly changed her story multiple times. First Torres reportedly told detectives that while bathing herself, Torres found an empty bottle of toilet bowl cleaner floating in the water when she went to check on Sierra. Torres initially said she believes her daughter may have drank the cleaning agent.
The second version of her story alleged that it was her boyfriend who was giving her daughter a bath as she made dinner. During this time, the door to the bathroom was reportedly closed. It was when she opened the door to the bathroom that she noticed Sierra was showing signs of chemical burns on her skin.
Sierra also reportedly showed signs of redness and bruising on her forehead. As KHOU 11 reports, Torres said she put her daughter to bed believing the 5-year-old would get better on her own.
Another story Torres allegedly told detectives was that her daughter “suffered for days with stomach complications.” But again, she didn’t call for help fearing CPS would get involved.
According to KHOU 11, Torres was eventually charged with tampering with a corpse.
Torres ultimately admitted that her daughter’s body remained in the closet for six days after her passing on Tuesday, August 27. Torres said she wasn’t trying to hide her daughter’s body, but that “she didn’t want to let her go.”
Detectives hope Sierra’s autopsy will reveal some truth to what happened to her.
As of September 4, Torres remains in police custody with bail set at $50,000.