HOUSTON, Texas - The woman accused of murdering a mother did it in order to take her newborn daughter after recently losing her baby, Houston police allege.
Erika J. Miranda-Alvarez, 28, is charged with capital murder. Thursday night, she did not appear in court for medical reasons, but a prosecutor read the probable cause against her.
"She took the complainant's daughter because she did not want to disappoint her boyfriend," the prosecutor stated.
VIDEO: Police Chief talks about the recovery of baby Shamali and the arrest of a suspect in the child's mother
HPD Chief Art Acevedo briefs media on recovery of baby Shamali Flores and the arrest of a woman for the baby's murder
In the criminal complaint against her, investigators list scissors as the possible murder weapon. They believe Miranda-Alvarez fatally stabbed Carolina Flores, 33, and then took her 6-week-old daughter, Shamali Flores. The mother was found lying on the floor of her Greenspoint apartment with multiple stab wounds in her neck and head on Tuesday. By early morning Thursday, police had tracked down Miranda-Alvarez and the baby to an apartment on S. Gessner.
"They were knocking on everyone's door," said one resident. "He said, 'ma'am, have you seen anybody with a newborn baby?"
Baby Shamali was found safe and police say Miranda-Alvarez admitted to taking the victim's cell phone and hospital wristbands from when the baby was born. The wristbands were in her pocket. She denied the stabbing, telling police the mother was already dead when she went to her apartment and gave them a motive.
Shamali Flores: A timeline in the baby's disappearance
Timeline of Shamali Flores' disappearance
"Advised the detectives she had been pregnant and lost the baby. She then pretended the daughter was her own. Took the infant home and fed her," the prosecutor told the court Thursday night.
The judge found probable cause and denied bond.
Miranda-Alvarez knew the victim's brother, according to police. Relatives are taking care of the baby and two older siblings. A cousin of the victim's believes Miranda-Alvarez knew exactly what she was doing.
"I don't think she has any mental issues. I think she wanted to have a baby because she lost her baby and she just wanted a baby," Jenny Lopez told Eyewitness News.
The FBI assisted HPD. Chief Acevedo applauded officers' efforts in finding the suspect and the baby unharmed.
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