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Houston man charged after body of girl, 5, found in closet

5 months 1 week 5 days ago Friday, September 06 2019 Sep 6, 2019 September 06, 2019 2:59 PM September 06, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

HOUSTON (AP) - Police have filed a charge of tampering with evidence against the boyfriend of a woman whose 5-year-old daughter was found dead in a Houston apartment closet.

Houston authorities announced the charge Friday against 30-year-old Santiago Esparza Jr. and said police are searching for Esparza to take him into custody.

A similar charge was filed Tuesday against 27-year-old Priscilla Torres. The body of her daughter, Sierra Patino, was found in the closet Monday and authorities say the girl died six days earlier.

Prosecutors said at a preliminary court hearing for Torres on Thursday that she gave different accounts of what happened to Sierra. At one point she allegedly told investigators that Esparza bathed the girl and Torres later found chemical burns on Sierra's limbs and bruising on her head.

Prosecutors say after Sierra died, the couple left Houston for a few days and Torres notified police when she returned.

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