Local News

Prosecutor: Durham mother fought with child left in van

Posted September 7, 2016 12:18 p.m. EDT
Updated September 7, 2016 6:13 p.m. EDT

— 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.