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Houston man denies hurting girl, whose body found in closet

11 months 2 days 11 hours ago Sunday, September 08 2019 Sep 8, 2019 September 08, 2019 1:33 PM September 08, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

HOUSTON (AP) - A man who along with his girlfriend have been arrested in connection with the death of the woman's 5-year-old daughter - whose body was found in a Houston apartment closet - says he "never hurt the little girl."

Santiago Esparza Jr. tells KPRC-TV in a jailhouse interview he was at work when the girl, Sierra Patino, died.

Prosecutors allege Sierra's mother, 27-year-old Priscilla Torres, has given different accounts of what happened, including saying Esparza bathed the girl and Torres later found chemical burns on Sierra's limbs and bruising on her head. The girls' body was found Sept. 2.

Esparza denies giving Sierra a bath, saying she had burns on her face days before she died.

Both the 30-year-old Esparza and Torres remained jailed Sunday on charges of tampering with evidence.

Information from: KPRC-TV, http://www.click2houston.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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