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CPS: Houston girl, 3, is dead and mom charged

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Sabrina Deleon
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One child is dead, another in state custody and their mother is now charged. The three-year-old was first reported missing, but now officials say the child is dead.

Investigators at Child Protective Services are looking into the case and calling it incredibly sad. They are presuming that a missing three-year-old little girl is dead.

"The grandparents asked about her and she got mad and broke out windows over there and left, because the grandparents were just wanting to know where the baby was and she wouldn't tell them," neighbor Michael Cato said.

Sabrina De Leon, 26, is the mother at the center of all of this. She was arrested Wednesday in east Harris County and was in the Harris County Jail on Friday for warrants related to a car accident a few months ago. Investigators say her six-year-old daughter was hurt during that car accident.

While investigating those injuries, CPS officials were led to several different addresses where De Leon allegedly lived throughout the area. They began questioning her about the whereabouts of her three-year-old daughter. At that point, CPS realized something was very wrong.

Friday morning, CPS took emergency custody of the six-year-old girl, placing her with a family friend.

Officials say it appears no one has seen the younger girl in more than a year.

"We are presuming, based on what we have been told thus far, that the child has died," said CPS spokesperson Gwen Carter. "It's an incredibly sad case."

The Harris County Sheriff's Office homicide unit is looking into the case. They're presuming the three-year-old is dead, but her body has not been recovered.

A source close to the case tells Eyewitness News that officials are hearing the girl fell ill last summer, was not taken for treatment and died, and her body was disposed of in the trash. As a result, De Leon is charged with of injury to a child by omission, for not getting the girl medical treatment, and tampering with evidence, for the improper disposal of the body. Bond was set at $150,000 for each charge and she is due in court Saturday afternoon.

"It's beyond awful. That's disgusting," Cato said.

According to neighbors, the young mother had a cover story, especially for her parents.

"The story we got from them is that CPS had the baby because that's what she told them," neighbor Tabitha Blanchard said. "The baby got sick and she took it to the hospital and CPS took it from them."

Court records show that De Leon told the same story to her other children, the six-year-old and an 11-year-old. At this time, there is no active search for the body.

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