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Police arrest parents of 3-week-old baby who was found dead in a motel room cooler


The couple has nine other children

Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images

Dallas police arrested the parents of a 3-week-old baby after the newborn was found dead in a motel room cooler on Saturday.

Arturo Espinoza, 37, and Felicia Vasquez, 32, have been accused of failing to report the child's existence and charged with tampering with evidence by concealing the baby's corpse, which is a second-degree felony.

What are the details?

According to KDFW-TV, officers were dispatched to a Days Inn in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, early Saturday afternoon to perform a welfare check, which is when law enforcement are asked by a family member, friend, or other responsible party to check on a person to see if they are OK.

In this case, a Child Protective Services agent asked the police to check on the 3-week-old baby.

Upon arriving, officers found the baby boy dead inside a cooler in the motel room.

The Dallas County medical examiner's office is still investigating and has not yet made an official determination on the child's cause of death.

Vasquez was arrested Friday. Espinoza had been taken into police custody earlier that day for allegedly stealing a vehicle.

The parents say they didn't report the death out of fear

The parents are alleging that the baby boy died a week before due to natural causes, according to a KTVT-TV report. They say that they failed to report the death for fear of losing custody of two of their other children — both toddlers.

Child Protective Services confirmed that it removed a 1-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy from the couple last Friday, just one day before the newborn was found.

The agency also says that the couple has 10 children in all, including the dead newborn and the two toddlers. The seven other children are currently living with a relative.

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