A Texas woman who officials say recently had a miscarriage has been charged with capital murder after being accused of stabbing a woman to death — and taking the victim's 6-week-old baby girl.
Erika Jisela Miranda-Alvarez, 28, is charged with the murder of 33-year-old Carolina Miranda Flores, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a press conference on Thursday.
Family members found Flores dead in her Houston apartment on Tuesday and little Shamali Flores had vanished.
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Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Shamali shortly after her mother's body was found.
About 48 hours after Flores was killed, the investigation led detectives to a suspicious couple with a newborn at a nearby apartment building. The infant was Shamali.
As a precaution, the baby was taken to a hospital by police where it was determined she had not been harmed and was in good health. Miranda-Alvarez, who had been in possession of the child, was taken into custody.
"She recently had a miscarriage, which she was trying to hide from her boyfriend," Acevedo said of Miranda-Alvarez, later adding that police had theorized early on that the suspect was "a woman who lost a baby recently or was desperate to have a child. This proved to be accurate."
Acevedo said that Miranda-Alvarez was due to have a baby in January but had miscarried. Acevedo did not specify when the miscarriage had occurred. He said Miranda-Alvarez continued to fake the pregnancy to her boyfriend and family after losing the pregnancy.
Police had also suspected that the victim and her killer knew each other. Acevedo said that Miranda-Alvarez was friends with Flores' brother.
Miranda-Alvarez was charged with a single count of capital murder and is being held without bond, arrest records showed. It was not immediately clear if she faces kidnapping charges or if she has an attorney.
Acevedo said Miranda-Alvarez's boyfriend had not been charged with a crime as of Thursday, and was cooperating with police.
Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter for NBC News, based in New York.