Pearland mother charged with manslaughter in deaths of twin daughters

By John Brannen - Web Editor

PEARLAND, Texas - A mother is facing manslaughter charges in the drowning deaths of her 15-month-old twin daughters, the Pearland Police Department announced Sunday.

Pearland police said Barbara Ramirez-Sifuentes, 21, was charged after officials identified her car's license plate.

Her twin daughters were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital by LifeFlight on Feb. 17 from a home in the 1400 block of Crystal Lake Circle East in Pearland.

One of the children died later that day at the hospital. The second child died on Feb. 22 after she was taken off life support.

The Harris County Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death for both girls was homicide.

Ramirez-Sifuentes was arrested Sunday near the intersection of Scarsdale Boulevard near Sagepark Lane and was taken to the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office detention center.

An alert had been issued for Ramirez-Sifuentes because she had two open manslaughter warrants. The Harris County Toll Road Authority's incident management division entered vehicle information in a license plate recognition system and tracked Ramirez-Sifuentes until she was in custody. She was driving a white Hyundai minivan that was driving on Sam Houston Tollway East, according to the Harris County Toll Road Authority.

Precinct 8 deputy constables found the vehicle when it was exiting Interstate 45 at Dixie Farm Road. Ramirez-Sifuentes, also known as Barbara Russo, was positively identified and taken into custody. At the time of the arrest, officers say Ramirez-Sifuentes seemed completely oblivious as to why she was being pulled over.

"She was very surprised she was being pulled over. She didn't know why she was being pulled over and wanted to know why there were this many patrol cars on the scene," said Constable Phil Sandlin with the Harris County Precinct 8 Constable's Office.

Now, Ramirez-Sifuentes is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

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