Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

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Normal Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by RileysMom on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:56 am

Family anticipates autopsy will identify missing 2-year-old daughter
Law enforcement suspect connection between found body and missing Crosbyton girl
Posted: January 11, 2013 - 9:38am | Updated: January 12, 2013 - 12:33am

By Adam D. Young
AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
Family anticipates autopsy will identify missing 2-year-old daughter
Adam D. Young
January 12, 2013 12:33 AM EST

An autopsy was conducted Friday on the body of a small child investigators discovered Thursday in a Crosbyton basement while searching for a missing Crosbyton girl, but no results were announced.

Family members Friday afternoon said they anticipate investigators will tell them the body is 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre, who was last seen Jan. 3, and who was reported missing Tuesday.

“We don’t have funeral plans worked out, but we’re trying to figure that out,” said Joann Villa, Leah’s aunt. “Her mother’s been real disappointed, real upset. She can’t believe what’s happening.”

Crosbyton Police Chief Greg Parrott remained careful Friday morning not to identify the body.

“As of right now, we have a presumptive identification that this is going to be our missing child, pending an autopsy,” Parrott said.

While the child’s identity has not been confirmed, a death notice on Page B5 in today’s Avalanche-Journal lists Leah Marie Aguirre, 2, of Slaton,

Law enforcement Thursday called off the Amber Alert for Leah after the body of a small female child was found inside a box and under bags in the basement of Matilda Almaraz’s Crosbyton home, and Almaraz was charged with capital murder.

Almaraz remained in the Garza County Jail on Friday morning on $1 million bail.

Almaraz was a friend of the child’s mother, Tina Marie Aguirre-Davis, and had been taking care of the toddler, Parrott said.

Villa described Almaraz as a friend of one of Tina Marie’s friends, who the mother had met in person but most recently communicated with on Facebook.

Neither Villa nor Connie Aguirre, Leah’s grandmother, said they knew how the 2-year-old came to be with Almaraz or for how long.

During a Thursday afternoon news conference, Parrott said police executed a search warrant at Almaraz’s home in the 500 block of Ayrshire Street because of some statements made by Almaraz and her “great concern” for a certain area in the basement.

He briefly commented on the scene investigators found inside the house.

“She was intentionally concealed,” the chief said of the child found. “You really had to have been there to see how well concealed she was.”

Parrott said the investigation is ongoing and other arrests are possible.

The initial story given to law enforcement was that a Child Protective Services worker named “Miguel” had taken the child into state custody.

On Monday, the toddler’s caretakers allegedly called CPS to inform workers of an appointment for Leah with a speech therapist. CPS stated it did not have the child in its custody.






Matilda Almaraz





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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by RileysMom on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:00 am

Update on the Death of Missing Girl Leah Marie Aguirre
By: KCBD
Updated: January 11, 2013
The FBI has found the dead body of missing 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre in the basement of a home in Crosbyton, Texas.


According to Crosbyton Police Chief Greg Parrott Leah's body was found in a box in the basement wrapped in plastic and intentionally hidden.


The homeowner is Matilda Almaraz, who was Leah's temporary caregiver at the time of her disappearance.


Parrott says after questioning her all day, they arrested her and charged her with capital murder.


Leah's mother Tina Aguirre had given temporary custody of her daughter to Almaraz back in September while she took care of a sick aunt. Tina only knew Almaraz through a friend on Facebook, and says she rarely saw Leah after that. She says the last time she was able to get a hold of Almaraz was on Christmas Eve.


Weeks later, Almaraz told police that a man going by the name Miguel posed as a CPS worker and took Leah back on January 3rd. She didn't report Leah missing until days later on January 8th.






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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:20 am

Leah's mother Tina Aguirre had given temporary custody of her daughter to Almaraz back in September while she took care of a sick aunt. Tina only knew Almaraz through a friend on Facebook, and says she rarely saw Leah after that. She says the last time she was able to get a hold of Almaraz was on Christmas Eve.
What kind of "mother" hands their child over to someone she's never met? A "sick Aunt"?? I smell a huge rat. Drugs. my 2 cents

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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by RileysMom on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:33 am

Mother of missing 2-year-old says she's innocent

Posted: Jan 09, 2013 4:22 PM EST
Updated: Jan 10, 2013 12:06 AM EST
By Alex Zielinski


LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The mother of missing 2-year-old Leah Aguirre spoke with KCBD Wednesday after being questioned by police in her daughter's disappearance.

22-year-old Tina Aguirre said it has been a crazy 24 hours after her landlord called her and said her daughter Leah was missing. She was questioned by the Slaton Police Department, F.B.I and Crosbyton Police Department for around 7 hours last night as they tried to figure out what happened to Leah.

"It was very scary. They were saying that I was going to be accused if something happened to my daughter," said Tina. "I was going to go to jail for a long time and never come back out probably. I would not see my mom or my brothers ever again."

Tina says back in September she was taking care of a sick aunt and needed help with Leah. She then let a friend in Crosbyton that she met over Facebook take Leah to temporarily care for the child while she lived with her sick aunt. It's with that friend that Leah went missing several days ago when a man named Miguel posed as a CPS worker saying he needed to take her.

The Crosby County Sheriff's office told us yesterday they were looking into reports that Tina tried to sell her daughter to someone in Mexico for $2,000.00 but she says that is 100 percent false.
"It's not true and it makes me really angry to think about people saying that I tried to sell my own daughter," she said.

While police have no solid leads, Tina believes her cousin has something to do with Leah's disappearance. "She would tell me that she was going to come and steal her away from me, and that I would never get to see her again for the rest of my life. She has a boyfriend in Mexico who she goes to see but his name is Miguel," Tina said.

When we asked investigators about the cousin, they said she has been questioned along with one of her friends named Miguel. However, they say Tina's story didn't add up.

While tips are coming in nationwide, Tina hopes someone will help bring her baby home, and says the first thing she would do is hug Leah and never let her go.

"She was happy all the time, she always liked playing with her dolls, her toys and she loved playing with me all the time," she said.



Tina Aguirre


Leah Aguirre

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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by RileysMom on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:46 am

Why would you give temporary custody of your child to someone you only know from facebook ?
No sane mother would do that ! Somethings up WTF
And why would people say she tried to sell her child before ?
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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by RileysMom on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:13 pm

How was Leah Marie Aguirre Killed?
January 11, 2013 09:35 AM EST

The body of Leah Marie Aguirre was actually located in the basement of her caretaker's home—not behind it as earlier reports indicated—and the caretaker has now been charged with capital murder. The manner in which the child was located is absolutely horrific, and indicative of a terrible crime that was committed, but how did she die?
An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on the child today, but it's not known if officials will even release the girl's cause of death. Still it would be interesting to know just what her so called caretaker is accused of doing to her, especially since she was reported missing by the person with claims that someone kidnapped her.

It's become obvious that this child was not kidnapped. But what happened to Leah Marie Aguirre? Officials say that it was difficult to find her body because it was expertly hidden in the basement of the home, in a box wrapped in plastic and then covered with clothes. It's fortunate that she was found and this crime has been uncovered, but will this little girl get justice? Will the media even give this case the coverage it deserves?





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Normal Horror as missing toddler's body found stuffed in a box in caretaker's basement wrapped in plastic and intentionally hidden.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:23 pm

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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:28 pm

22-year-old Tina Aguirre said it has been a crazy 24 hours after her landlord called her and said her daughter Leah was missing.
How or WHY would the landlord know the child was missing??

I agree w/you Riley. I think she Did sell her daughter. You don't just Give your child to someone you met on FB.

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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by RileysMom on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:38 pm

True how would the landlord know ? Was he over there every day or what ? And if so why ? Was he concerned ? I don't see the kids across the street every day ( especially in winter ) but that does not mean that they are missing !
Arrr so many things I would like to ask fingertap
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Normal Photo confirms dead child is Leah Marie, mom says; DNA tests pending. Tina Marie Aguirre said police told her the body is her daughter's, based on photo comparison.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:53 pm

Posted: January 14, 2013 - 8:40pm | Updated: January 15, 2013 - 12:12am

By Walt Nett
AVALANCHE-JOURNAL

Leah Marie Aguirre’s mother said Monday night that the body of a child found last week in the basement of a Crosbyton home is that of her 2-year-old daughter.

Tina Marie Aguirre said police told her the body is her daughter’s, based on photo comparison.

She added investigators have asked her to delay a funeral until DNA test results are completed.

Crosbyton Police Chief Greg Parrott said Monday night he was still awaiting DNA results, but has previously said the body was “presumptively identified” as Leah Marie.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found the body of a small girl in a box carefully hidden in the basement of Matilda Almaraz’s home in the 500 block of South Ayrshire Street Thursday afternoon.

Almaraz, who police say was Leah Marie’s caretaker, was arrested on a capital murder charge Thursday and is being held in Garza County Jail. Bond is set at $1 million.

Family members said last weekend they believed the body was Leah Marie’s, and Englund’s Funeral Home in Slaton placed a one-line death notice in the Jan. 12 edition of the Avalanche-Journal naming Leah Marie, and stating funeral services were pending.

Leah Marie was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert after law enforcement officers were told that a man named Miguel had taken the child, saying he was an official of Child Protective Services.

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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:58 pm

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Normal West Texas toddler's death was blunt force trauma

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:59 pm

By BETSY BLANEY, Associated Press
Updated 6:11 pm, Tuesday, January 22, 2013

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A West Texas toddler whose body was found in the basement of a caretaker's home died of blunt force trauma, authorities said Tuesday, ruling her death a homicide.

Crosbyton Police Chief Greg Parrott said investigators have not officially identified the body as 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre. Other means will be used to positively identify the body that was found Jan. 10, he said.

He declined to elaborate further on the case, saying the investigation was ongoing. A preliminary autopsy showed blunt force trauma killed the toddler, he said.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued for Leah on Jan. 8. The day after the toddler's body was found, Parrott said investigators were checking into whether other adults lived in the home with caretaker Matilda Almaraz.

Almaraz, 42, is charged with capital murder and was being held in the Garza County Jail on $1 million bond. Jail records did not indicate if she has an attorney.

A call to Crosby County District Attorney C. Michael Ward was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Leah was living at the Almaraz home in Crosbyton, about 40 miles east of Lubbock. The toddler's mother at some point turned her daughter over to Almaraz. In October, officials with the Child Protective Services discovered Leah was not living with her mother. The agency let Almaraz keep Leah after an inspection of her home and a background check.

CPS spokesman Paul Zimmerman said Tuesday that two boys, ages 4 and 5, found at Almaraz's home are her sons. They remain in foster care, he said, but the agency is seeking to place them with relatives.

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Normal KCBD INVESTIGATES: Cracks in the Amber Alert System?

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:30 pm

Posted: Mar 05, 2013 8:51 PM CST
Updated: Mar 05, 2013 9:59 PM CST
By Natasha Sweatte - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
After the death of Leah Marie Aguirre, 2, many have raised questions as to why the initial Amber Alert failed in aiding her recovery.

Aguirre was found dead in her caregiver's basement in January. Maltida Almaraz, the woman Leah's mother entrusted with her daughter is now being charged with capital murder.

KCBD NewsChannel 11 went looking for answers, trying to discover any cracks in the Amber Alert system.

According to DPS Corporal John Gonzalez, since 2002, 93 children have been recovered from 87 different abductions in the state of Texas. Corporal Gonzalez said when used properly, the system is effective. However, in the case of Aguirre, it was the false information provided that hampered rescue efforts.

On January 8, 2012, an Amber Alert was issued for Aguirre, claiming she was abducted by a man who posed as a CPS worker named "Miguel" who drove a red Ford Focus. That same afternoon, the Crosby County Sheriff's Department discovered that Leah had actually gone missing on January 3rd, five days before the alert was issued.

According Gonzalez, this fact alone makes Aguirre's case not applicable to the required criteria for an Amber Alert.

"If a child has been abducted 4 or 5 days ago is it going to be effective? Probably not," said Gonzalez. "Are we going to get the information out? Absolutely. Are we going to be looking? Absolutely. The unfortunate thing is if the crime already occurred 4 or 5 days ago, how far have they gotten? They could already be in Mexico."

According to Crosbyton Police Chief Greg Parrott, they were never even able to establish if "Miguel" existed. CPS officials confirmed they did not have an employee matching his description.

The KCBD newsroom received several calls from various law enforcement agencies that afternoon, asking us for the latest updates. We wanted to know just how that kind of communication could fail to reach the proper authorities.

"It can absolutely. Unfortunately, it's through human error that some of this stuff is entered," said Gonzalez. "In some of these geographical areas in the Caprock, sometimes the radios don't even work."

The system was put in place after Amber Hagerman's 1996 abduction and murder.

The Amber Alert System became available as a resource for officers in 2002. However, now with the power of social media, Gonzalez said the system is even more successful.

"We're able to get information out to a lot of people in a short amount of time," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez recommends that parents keep an updated identity packet on hand at all times. He said at the time when an Amber Alert is issued, having your child's information collected to hand off to authorities is the best way to ensure your child's recovery.

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Normal Crosbyton woman indicted for murder of Baby Leah

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:41 am

Posted: Mar 27, 2013 3:25 PM CDT
Updated: Mar 27, 2013 7:49 PM CDT
By Chelsea Davis - email

CROSBYTON, TX (KCBD) -
Crosbyton woman Matilda Almaraz, 42, was indicted this week after she was arrested for capital murder in January for the death of 2-year-old Leah Marie Aguirre.

The FBI discovered Baby Leah's body wrapped in plastic inside a box in Almaraz' basement. Almaraz was Leah's temporary caregiver at the time, and was also the one who reported her missing.

The indictment claims Almaraz intentionally or knowingly caused the death of Leah Aguirre. It says Leah's death was caused by being struck on the head and body, either with hands, feet, some sort of object or by shaking her.

Almaraz told police that a man by the name Miguel posed as a CPS worker and took Leah from her home on January 3rd. Nearly a week passed before Almaraz reported the child missing to police, on January 8th. The indictment claims Leah's death happened on or around January 2nd.

Leah's mother, Tina Aguirre, had given Almaraz temporary custody of her daughter in September of 2012. Tina said she only knew Almaraz through a Facebook friend and she rarely saw Leah after that.

After officials questioned Almaraz for a full day in January, she was arrested and charged with capital murder. She could face the death penalty if she is convicted.

The Crosbyton District Attorney said no other arrests have been made and no trial date has been set.

Almaraz's bond is set at one million dollars.

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Normal Re: Amber alert cancelled for 2 yr old Leah Marie Aguirre/ Matilda Almaraz charged with capital murder after the body of a small female child was found in the basement of her Crosbyton home/Cause of death-blunt force trauma.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:02 am


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