WACO, Texas — A frantic 911 call from a mother on Monday sparked a massive law enforcement and community effort to locate a missing 2-year-old boy at Waco's Cameron Park. Only, police say, the child was never there.
Laura Sanchez told police on Monday she lost sight of her son, 2-year-olf Frankie Gonzales, in the Pecan Bottoms playground area of Cameron Park, which is located along the Brazos River. Police say that phone call merely served as a diversion and her son was never actually at the park.
An AMBER Alert for Gonzales was issued several hours later and a massive search effort took place at Cameron Park.
As the investigation continued overnight, Waco Police Department spokesperson Garen Bynum says Sanchez confessed to family members who then called police. Sanchez then led police to Gonzales' body early Tuesday morning in a garbage can just outside a church in the 2600 block of Alice Avenue — nearly three miles from the Pecan Bottoms playground.
Sanchez was arrested and booked into the McLennan County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of injury to a child.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Gonzales died while in Sanchez' care on May 28, 2020, she told police. Gonzales' body was kept in Sanchez' home until Saturday when she wrapped it in multiple trash bags and disposed of it in the church garbage can.
Bynum says Gonzales did not die of natural causes but deferred releasing an exact cause of death pending an autopsy.
"This is a tragic scene for our community and for our police officers today," Bynum told the media Tuesday morning as police processed the scene at the church. "A lot of us are parents too and this is just heartbreaking to see."