HOUSTON — Sierra Patino recently started kindergarten at wearing a big hair bow and a sweet smile. Within a week, the 5-year-old was dead, her body hidden in a closet.
On Tuesday, Sierra's mom was arrested and charged with tampering with a human corpse.
Priscilla Torres, 27, could face other charges as the investigation continues, Houston police say.
Police say Torres admitted she hid Sierra's body in the closet after she died from ingesting a chemical. An autopsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Relatives say Sierra was smart and beautiful. She loved her grandparents and her cousins.
Police were called to family's apartment on Labor Day after relatives reported a strong odor.
"It's very troubling, no matter how the child died, whether it's accidental or intentional death...for a body to be in the closet for several days, that's unthinkable," said Lt. Larry Crowson with Houston Police Department.
CPS said they had no history with Torres or her daughter.
Police are also looking for a man they said may have been living in the apartment in the 7800 block of Grow Lane.
Anyone with additional information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
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