Mom claims toilet cleaner spill killed her 5-year-old: police

Wednesday, September 4, 2019
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Police say her mother confessed to hiding the child's body for nearly a week. She says the girl, Sierra Patino, died from ingesting chemicals.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston mother faced a judge Tuesday night after police say she confessed to hiding her 5-year-old's body inside an apartment closet.

Detectives say 27-year-old Priscilla Nicole Torres wrapped her 5-year-old daughter, Sierra Patino, in a blanket and put her in a closet.

Police say Torres told them she was too scared to call 911 after her daughter died because she feared CPS involvement.

Detectives say Torres told inconsistent stories about the little girl's death.

Torres' parents showed up to their daughter's boyfriend's home Monday, concerned about their granddaughter Sierra, whom they had not seen. What they walked into was the foul odor of a decaying body. They called 911.

Police say at one point Torres told them her daughter suffered for days with stomach complications, but she didn't call for help for fear Childrens' Protective Services would take action.

Detectives say Torres' first story to them detailed an accident with chemicals: a bottle of toilet cleaner reportedly fell in the bathtub where she was giving Sierra a bath. She claimed her daughter's face started peeling, and she died the next day.

Her next story was along the same lines, according to investigators, but Torres reportedly went back on her word that she was bathing Sierra. Instead, she said that it was her boyfriend.

"Her boyfriend offered to give the child a bath while the defendant made dinner," authorities explained. "The door was closed and upon opening the door, she observed her boyfriend with the daughter ... She said daughter was exhibiting chemical burns to her extremities, also some redness and bruises to forehead."

Torres, according to detectives, ultimately stated that she wrapped her daughter in the blanket and put her in the closet, where she stayed for six days.

Detectives are awaiting an autopsy report, which they hope will offer them the truth as to what happened to little Sierra.

Torres' bond was set at $50,000.

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