HOUSTON – A woman who recently had a miscarriage is accused of killing a mother and kidnapping her baby earlier this week, according to Houston police.
Erika Jisela Miranda-Alvarez has been charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of Carolina Flores.
Flores was found dead Tuesday in an apartment in the Greenspoint area around noon.
Relatives said Carolina's 17-year-old nephew found her dead and called for help. She died from multiple stab wounds, police said. Investigators said she was killed between 6:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday inside her home at the Magnolia Cove Apartments in the 100 block of Goodson Drive.
After Carolina's body was found, police discovered her 6-week-old baby, Shamali Flores, was missing. An Amber Alert was issued at about 4:30 p.m.
A photo of Carolina Flores is below:
Police said Shamali was found early Thursday morning at the Woodscape apartments in the 9700 block of S. Gessner Road in southwest Houston, nearly two days after Carolina's body was found and the Amber Alert was issued for the baby. Witnesses reported seeing a suspicious man and woman holding a newborn, possibly attempting to leave the area.
A photo of Shamali Flores is below:
"It was a very joyous occasion for all of us when we saw that little angel just sitting there," HPD Chief Art Acevedo said.
Shamali was taken to the hospital and found to be healthy. There were no signs of abuse or injury, according to police.
Miranda-Alvarez, 28, was friends with Flores' brother for the last five years, according to investigators. They said Miranda-Alvarez recently had a miscarriage and attempted to hide the miscarriage from her boyfriend and others.
A photo of Erika Jisela Miranda-Alvarez is below:
Police believe Miranda-Alvarez killed Carolina and kidnapped Shamali, then acted as if she had brought the baby home from the hospital. Miranda-Alvarez's boyfriend has not been charged, but he is under investigation.
Neighbors in the apartment complex where Carolina's body was found said they didn't know much about her or her family.
"We're all still trying to find out what happened. All we ever saw was two women living there. We never saw a child," Carolina's neighbor Dora Elia Reyes said.
Multiple agencies assisted in the search for Shamali.
The FBI was assisting the Houston Police Department until the child was found.
Douglas Williams, with the FBI, said that in the search for Shamali, the agency deployed its rapid reduction response team, which is made up of special agents with expertise in these types of situations.
Acevedo said his department deployed crews on the ground with dogs looking for the infant.
Acevedo said Miranda-Alvarez is cooperating with police.
"She was pregnant, she was due in January. She lost the baby, she did not share the fact that she lost her baby with anyone," Acevedo said.
UPDATE: This is the mug shot of Erika J. Miranda-Alvarez, 28, who our investigators arrested this morning at an apartment at 9707 South Gessner. Minutes ago, she was formally charged with capital murder in this ongoing investigation. #hounews pic.twitter.com/k6EOZNCrIt— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) December 21, 2017
Tim Miller, with Texas EquuSearch, and his team were at the apartments on Wednesday until they stopped searching at nightfall.
Child Protective Services officials told KPRC that Flores' two other children are in the care of family members, but the agency is involved.