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Mother of 2-year-old found dead in dumpster arrested for felony injury to a child

CPS had prior interaction with family
Laura Sanchez June 2020
Frankie Gonzales
Posted at 9:03 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 17:27:53-04

WACO, TX — Officials have arrested the mother of a 2-year-old found dead in a dumpster after having been reported missing. Her bond has been set at $500,000.

Around 1:53 p.m. on June 1, the Waco Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding a missing child. When officers arrived, the reporting person, Laura Sanchez, told officers her two-year-old son Frankie Gonzalez went missing from a restroom in Pecan Bottoms in Cameron Park.

Officers immediately began searching the area and were joined by other agencies. An Amber Alert was also issued for Frankie. After hours of search and rescue efforts, the search was suspended around 9 p.m. They began again around 8 a.m. the next day, June 2.

While the search was underway, Waco PD detectives spent hours conducting interviews and following every lead they could.

During an interview with officers on June 1, Sanchez said Frankie had been with a family member in Killeen. However family members told officers that was a lie.

On June 2, another family member contacted police and said Sanchez had confessed. Officers confronted Sanchez, who told them Frankie was dead in a dumpster somewhere around North 27th Street and Park Lake Drive.

Officers took Sanchez to the area, where she guided officials to a dumpster behind a church in the area of Park Lake Drive and Alice Avenue.

Authorities found Frankie's body wrapped in several trash bags in the dumpster.

"Frankie did not die of natural causes," Officer Garen Bynum with the Waco Police Department said.

Sanchez told authorities she had been the only person in care and custody of Frankie on approximately May 28 when he died. She also told officers she kept Frankie's body in her house until about May 30 when she disposed of the body in the dumpster.

Laura Sanchez was arrested for first degree felony injury to a child. She has been booked into the McLennan County Jail. She was also arrested for a parole violation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Family and Protective Services says there is currently a joint investigation between the department and law enforcement regarding Frankie's death.

The spokesperson says two of the siblings have been brought into foster care. CPS had prior interaction with the family, but the details are confidential by law.