WACO, Texas (KWTX/Gray News) - The mother who told police her 2-year-old son disappeared early Monday afternoon in a park, triggering an Amber Alert, was charged with injury to a child after the toddler’s body was found Tuesday.
The body of Frankie Gonzales was discovered by police in a dumpster near a church about 2 miles from the park.
Laura Sanchez had told police her son, Frankie Gonzales, disappeared after she turned away briefly.
Police spokesman Garen Bynum said during a news conference that investigators determined the toddler was never in the park.
Sanchez provided information that led to the discovery of the toddler’s body at around 8 a.m.
After she confessed to family members, Bynum said she told police her son was no longer alive and led them to the body.
Police don’t know how long the boy has been dead.
Investigators are awaiting autopsy results, Bynum said, but foul play is suspected.
“Frankie did not die of natural causes,” he said.
A warrant for Sanchez’s arrest was issued at around noon. She was being booked into the McLennan County Jail early Tuesday afternoon.
“We are, as a police department, we are hurting. This is a very hard thing for officers to work,” Bynum said earlier in the day. “We’re all parents as well.”
Officers responded just before 2 p.m. Monday and about an hour later closed the park entirely.
Waco Fire Department rescue crews searched the nearby Brazos River, as officers spread out through the park.
Bloodhounds from a Texas Department of Criminal Justice unit in Gatesville were brought in to help in the search.
A statewide Amber Alert was issued for the youngster just after 7:30 p.m. Monday when the hours-long search came up empty.
The boy was last seen wearing a red Mickey Mouse shirt, police said.
Tuesday, police said a shirt matching the description was found, but investigators did not believe that shirt belonged to the missing boy.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Waco Police Department at 254-750-7685 or call 911.