A Texas toddler whose body was found in a dumpster in May had suffered numerous injuries at the time of his death, including multiple broken ribs and blunt force injuries, an autopsy has revealed.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported how Laura Sanchez, 35, had been arrested and charged with first-degree felony injury to a child after the body of her two-year-old son Frankie Gonzalez was located in a dumpster located behind Park Lake Drive Baptist Church.
An autopsy on the young child’s body that was completed this week, and viewed by the Waco Tribune-Herald, showed that he had suffered blunt force injuries, forehead and scalp contusions, multiple contusions to his arms and legs, a forehead laceration, three broken ribs, and a broken right arm. The autopsy also determined that the toddler had been the victim of homicidal violence, but said it was unclear if he was smothered or asphyxiated.
While Sanchez has not been charged with murder, it was alleged that she killed her son on May 28 after slamming his head into the wall. She proceeded to stuff his body in a closet and kept him in her home for two days before wrapping him in several trash bags and dumping it behind the church.
She reported the toddler missing two days later on June 1, with police issuing an Amber Alert and calling for assistance from Waco Fire Department rescue crews and even bloodhounds from a Texas Department of Criminal Justice Unit in Gatesville.
When police and volunteers could not find the child, Sgt. Jason Lundquist of the Waco Police Department said Sanchez told him Frankie had spent the weekend with her adult son in Killeen. She said she last saw the two-year-old being taken to the bathroom in Pecan Bottoms in Cameron Park by his older brother.
However, her own family determined “that was a lie,” according to an arrest affidavit, and she eventually confessed he had “passed away” in her care and that his body could be found “in a dumpster somewhere around 27th (and) Park Lake.”
It has also been revealed that Sanchez previously lost custody of six of her children over drug use and addiction issues. Two of the dead toddler’s sisters were placed in foster care after Sanchez’s arrest and allegedly tested positive for drugs when they were born in February 2017 and January 2019.
“She not only lost custody, but her parental rights were also terminated, and that’s because the main part of that was neglect and drug abuse. She was doing drugs during that time and couldn’t stop,” Waco lawyer Gerald Villarrial told KWTX.
Lorenzo Gonzalez had primary legal custody of Frankie Gonzalez and his two sisters at the time of the toddler’s death. However, he is said to have admitted to leaving the three children with Sanchez while he worked because he trusted her. He has been charged with abandoning or endangering a child.
Following the ruling that Frankie’s death is a homicide, Sanchez, who is still in jail is expected to face further charges.