A Texas man is accused of carelessly cramming his girlfriend’s baby into a backpack and leaving her in his car as he went about his day, resulting in her death.
Trevor Rowe, 27, of Lubbock, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with capital murder for the Tuesday death of Marion Jester-Montoya, who was just 10 months old, online jail records show.
Rowe, who is not the father of the baby, allegedly took her to his job site Tuesday morning and left her “crammed” inside a backpack on the floorboard of the passenger side of his car as he worked, a warrant obtained by Abilene Reporter News states. During his lunch break, he reportedly checked on her to make sure she was still breathing.
Later that day, he allegedly moved the backpack containing Jester-Montoya to his trunk and drove around, stopping at two stores and a fast-food drive thru, according to KAMC in Lubbock.
A little before 5 pm, he realized the baby had turned white and had stopped breathing and he called 911. He performed CPR but it was too late.
“He knew that placing a person into a trunk was dangerous to human life,” his arrest warrant states. “Rowe advised that placing someone into a backpack was even more dangerous.”
The baby also allegedly had not eaten since the night before.
Rowe was held Wednesday on a $2 million bond and it’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
Jester-Montoya’s mother and biological father Emilio Montoya had been embroiled in a heated custody dispute for months. Emilio Montoya told Fox34 in Lubbock that Child Protective Services, or CPS, had been called before. He accuses his daughter's mother of being unfit and claimed that her boyfriend home was "filthy, messy, there's poop everywhere."
"I believe my concerns were rightly placed and I wish I could have done something," Emilio Montoya told the outlet, stating that he first called CPS, after his daughter allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine. He told KAMC that he felt ignored by CPS.
“We did the right thing that I could do legally but what happens when the one system that can help you out chooses to ignore you and writes you off?” he said while choking up.
CPS confirmed to that outlet that they had been involved with the baby in the past. They said they are investigating these claims. Rowe was previously charged in 2018 with endangering a child, a charge that was later dismissed.
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