A woman who recently had a miscarriage earlier this year is accused of stabbing a mother to death and then kidnapping her 6-week-old daughter. Carolina Flores, 33, was found dead in her Houston apartment on Tuesday by family members. Her baby, Shamali, was missing.
Police almost immediately theorized that the culprit was a woman who had lost a child and wanted to try to pass Shamali off as her own baby, the Washington Post reported.
A day later, Erika Jisela Miranda-Alvarez, 28, was arrested and charged with capital murder for the death of Flores. Shamali was found alive and unharmed at Alvarez’s home, which she shared with her boyfriend.
Alvarez was an acquaintance of the victim. Police said she was due to give birth in January but suffered a miscarriage instead, according to ABC7. Police believe she has since faked a pregnancy. It is unclear if Alvarez has an attorney who can speak on her behalf at this time.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference on Thursday, “We mourn for that mom that will never see her daughter grow up, will never see her daughter walk, run the first time — the first time your child tells you ‘I love you.’”
Flores moved to America from Honduras five years ago. Her body will be sent back to Honduras for burial, according to Click2Houston.
“She was very kind, lovable. She was just a person that she was the light in the room," her cousin Jenny Lopez told Click2Houston.
A vigil was held for the slain mother on Friday.
“It’s very tough and painful for our community,” Desman Nunez, pastor of the Evangelical Garifuna Church of Houston told Click2Houston, adding that this type of trauma was new to the community.
Alvarez’s boyfriend is not currently facing any charges. The baby’s father, who was initially considered a person of interest, is cooperating with the investigation.
Shamali is now in state custody. Flores has two other children, who are now in the care of relatives.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account for the children, now motherless.
Keydi Montes, a friend who attended Flores’ vigil said, “She was a nice person, she was a very nice person, a mother of three kids, she loved her kids.”
[Photo: Houston Police Department]