Local News

Prosecutor: Durham mother fought with child left in van

Posted September 7, 2016

— The mother of a Durham child who died after being found in a hot van last week fought with the girl earlier that day, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Rocio Murillo-Estrada, 24, was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter and felony negligent child abuse in the death of 3-year-old Leslie Murillo.

Police responded to a home in the 1100 block of Hearthside Street on Aug. 29, and Leslie was pulled from a hot van by family members and pronounced dead shortly after. An arrest warrant states the girl had been in the van for more than four hours.

Family members have said Murillo-Estrada, her mother, another adult and five children, including Leslie, were running errands and returned home at about 3 p.m. At that point, everyone got out of the car, except for Leslie. Family members said they assumed the child had gotten out of the van when everyone else did, but she wasn't discovered missing until her father came home from work.

A prosecutor said in court, however, that the girl was left in the van after a dinner outing and that Murillo-Estrada had been in an altercation with her earlier.

Prosecutors alleged that Murillo-Estrada is a flight risk, stating that she isn't a U.S. citizen and she recently visited the Mexican consulate in Raleigh.

Murillo-Estrada's defense argued that she visited the consulate solely for legal advice.

A judge raised her bond from $50,000 to $100,000, and she remains in the Durham County jail.

The county Department of Social Services has taken custody of Murillo-Estrada's other children.


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  • Heather Bank Sep 9, 2016
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    First the mother is her illegally. Second, when is the grandmother going to be charged as she was with the mother and kids during the lunch and after- why did she not get the kid out of car.
    Third - if you are comfortable assaulting a 3yr old in public, then she most likely was beating the kid in private as well as the other children.
    Fourth- the dad is in denial or was ok with her killing his daughter
    Fifth- If dad is working, he can not care for the kids and honestly the way he is acting about the who thing, I don't feel he is any better a parent then the mother or grandmother
    Sixth, Anyone who is that quick to get on tv when their child has died should be viewed with a side-eye.
    Seventh- She most likely beat the kid in the car bad enough that the child needed medical attention- she knew she would be in trouble being illegal and decided to leave the child to die or let the dad find her and claim it was an accident.
    No matter how you look at it there is ZERO excuse for what happened

  • Dave Vogel Sep 7, 2016
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    Disgusting and tragic. However, no excuse! Mother is illegal and abusing this countries lax policies. I'm willing to pay for her jail time and deportation. The sooner we secure our borders the better.

  • John White Sep 7, 2016
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    Throw her out of the country. Illegal means just deport. I am so sick and tired of these illegals they need to be sent packing. They don't speak the language and they commit crimes. Send them going. This will happen once President Trump is in office!

  • Jeffrey Derry Sep 7, 2016
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    America is losing its border, language and culture people. Secure our borders now.

  • Mike Brody Sep 7, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    If she were to have a green card, she would not be here illegally. However seeking advice from the consulate, kind of throws a red flag about her status. I'm also wondering why the DCFS removed the rest of the children when there was a father. Bet their questioning his status also. That could be the only reason for that. So sorry for the death of this little girl. So tragic.

  • Sheila Rohrbach Sep 7, 2016
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    This truly a very sad story, Mom evidently with more than she can handle, but having a..... 3 ..... THREE ....year old that you are having a fight with???? hello??? I raised six kids, granted a different time so all you hear that,,,but I never let a three year old intimidate me "I was MOM and if you don't like that decision well get over it!!! and they did. Bless this baby and maybe someone will think twice about a decision to punish a child in such cruel ways,we have so MUCH of that going on and hurting these innocents...make me so sad

  • Dennis Midkiff Sep 7, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Gofundme? They murdered their child (negligent homicide) and you want to reward them?

  • Kris Dawn Sep 7, 2016
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    K HOPE - YES!! I was thinking the exact same thing. What adult has an altercation with a 3 year old? Shoot, I have a teen and she and I do not get into altercations. This is not how parenting works. Two strangers get into altercations. That really was ridiculous as a description for this.

    And as for this being a horrible mistake Donna K. - absolutely not. It is sweet you have that much faith in her. But no one forgets their child for hours...not to mention she had other people with her. Did the other children not miss her? The two other adults not miss her? And if there were adults with her - they should be charged as well. This makes zero sense that THREE ADULTS forgot that child.

  • Donna Keen Sep 7, 2016
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    i think this was a horrible mistake - does the family have a go fundme

  • Donna Keen Sep 7, 2016
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    i think this was genuinely horrible mistake - if the family want help to setup a go fundme on this happy to hep