Missing TX toddler found dead in caregiver's basement
Leah Aguirre (Source: KCBD)
Matilda Almaraz (Source: KCBD)
CROSBYTON, TX (KCBD) - The FBI has found the dead body of missing 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre in the basement of a home at 502 S. Ayrshire in Crosbyton, according to Crosbyton Police Chief Greg Parrott. Parrott claims Leah's body was found in a box in the basement wrapped in plastic and intentionally hidden.
The homeowner is Matilda Almaraz who was Leah's temporary caregiver at the time of her disappearance. Parrott says after questioning her all day, they arrested her about 5 p.m. and charged her with capital murder.
Leah's mother Tina Aguirre had given temporary custody of her daughter to Almaraz back in September while she took care of a sick aunt. Tina only knew Almaraz through a friend on Facebook, and says she rarely saw Leah after that. She says the last time she was able to get a hold of Almaraz was on Christmas Eve.
Weeks later, Almaraz told police that a man going by the name Miguel posed as a CPS worker and took Leah back on January 3rd. She didn't report Leah missing until days later on January 8th.
Chief Parrott says when the investigation started they searched Almaraz's home, but found nothing out of the ordinary. An immediate Amber Alert was sent out with the information about the man Almaraz says took Leah.
However on Thursday FBI agents brought Almaraz in for more questioning which led them to a second search of her home.
"Through some statements made by her in the interview there appeared to be great concern for a particular area in the house so the FBI agents focused their efforts there," Parrott said. "You really had to have been there to understand and grasp how well concealed her little remains were; they were behind a shelf, in the basement, in a box under clothing, wrapped in plastic bags. The person who concealed her went through great lengths to do so."
Parrott says they will have to wait for an autopsy to determine how long her body had been hidden and her cause of death.
"We were all hoping and praying for a different ending. Although we've lost this baby we still owe this child and the child's family a professional investigation so that justice can now be sought for those responsible for her demise," Parrott said.
Parrott says they do not know if there is any truth in Almaraz's story about the man posing as a CPS worker. He also says they are continuing to question people at this time and it's unsure if there will be any additional arrests.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:35 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:35:01 GMT
SAND CREEK TOWNSHIP, IN (WAVE) – A 12-year-old Jennings County boy was accidentally shot in the head by his 16-year-old brother late Monday night while handling firearms in their home, according to theMore >>
Investigators said the 16-year-old had been handling a .22 caliber rifle when it discharged while the rest of the family was asleep.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:44:56 GMT
SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A teenage girl found dead in a Shelby County creek Monday morning has been identified.Deputy coroner Jeff Ivers said Jackleen Lane, 15, of Bagdad, KY drowned. She was last seenMore >>
How Jackleen Lane, 15, ended up in the creek has not been determined.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:15 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:15:10 GMT
SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The 15-year-old found dead in a Shelbyville creek Monday morning drowned, according to Deputy Coroner Jack Ivers. The family of Jackleen Lane said she told them she was goingMore >>
The family of Jackleen Lane said she told them she was going to the Shelby County Fair on Saturday, but never called or came home.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:23:04 GMT
Police discover a meth lab at a house in the Jacobsville area of Evansville. Officers were called to the scene at 302 East Tennessee around 11:00 Monday night. That's after receiving complaints of an odorMore >>
Officers were called to the scene at 302 East Tennessee around 11:00 Monday night.More >>