Mother Charged in Toddler's Death
Three-year-old was found dead inside van
Elena Isabel Rodriguez faced a judge this morning and charged her with manslaughter for the death of her three-year-old son.
A bond was set: $40,000 for the death of Francisco Avila. The 33-year-old mother of seven was arrested last night and was formally charged this morning with Manslaughter.
"Under the penal code, when somebody, for whatever reason, a child is lost or a child dies of any certain circumstances, then under the law we have to take that direct stature."
As we reported last night, the toddler was found dead inside this van. Authorities say Avila’s 16-year-old sister made the gruesome discovery around three yesterday afternoon.
"My understanding is that the child was gone for two hours. How can you have somebody, who's a three-year-old to be gone for two hours without knowing where he's at?"
According to county investigators, the family said Avila was watching TV with his six siblings while Rodriguez was busy in the kitchen; somehow the toddler wandered off and ended up inside the hot van.
"When you have that many kids, you know, you have to be constantly aware where your children are, okay, and if a child is missing, you need to look for him immediately."
A justice of the peace pronounced the boy dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy for an exact cause of death.
"It’s a sad situation here; therefore, we're asking for the community to help in any way possible to the family."
During today's arraignment, Rodriguez told the judge she wasn't working. This family needs help to cover funeral arrangements. You can make donations directly to the funeral home.
Funeral for Francisco has been scheduled for Friday from 12:00-9:00 PM and Saturday at 2:30 at San Felipe in Cameron Park.
Donations accepted at:
Guerra Funeral Home
3955 Coffeeport Rd
Brownsville, TX 78521-4384