Mother charged after body of girl found in apartment closet

HOUSTON (AP) — The mother of a 5-year-old girl whose body was found in a Houston apartment closet was charged Tuesday with evidence tampering, police said.

Police are investigating Priscilla Torres “as having a role” in the death of her daughter. Sierra Patino’s body was found by relatives Monday and authorities say Torres was at the apartment when officers arrived. Police believe Sierra’s body was in the closet for days.

The 27-year-old Torres was charged with tampering with evidence related to a human corpse. Torres could face additional charges as the investigation continues, police said in a statement.

She is being held at the Harris County jail and it’s not clear if she has an attorney to speak on her behalf.

Investigators are waiting on the results of an autopsy to determine how Sierra died.

It wasn’t clear whether Sierra lived in the apartment with her mother, Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said earlier Tuesday. It’s also not clear if the girl’s death was accidental or caused deliberately.

(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)