Prosecutor: Mother pulled child's hair before left in van

EMBED </>More News Videos

An altercation between mother and daughter at a Durham restaurant reportedly preceded the girl's death inside a hot van last month

We've learned more about an alleged incident between a mother and her 3-year-old daughter shortly before the child was left in a hot van August 29.

Prosecutors say during a family meal at a Durham restaurant, 24-year-old Rocio Murillo-Estrada got into an altercation with her autistic 3-year-old daughter Leslie Ramirez and pulled her hair.

Leslie Ramirez



There is surveillance video of the family at the restaurant, but police have not released it.

Asked about the allegation Thursday, Murillo-Estrada's husband told ABC11 "It's a lie" before closing the door.

Murillo-Estrada is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse after her daughter died. Her bond was increased to $100,000 Wednesday when prosecutors said she is not a U.S. citizen and had visited the Mexican Consulate - which issues passports - and so is a flight risk.

Speaking to reporters last week before her arrest, Murillo-Estrada called what happened an accident, saying she loves her daughter.

WATCH: Mom of girl found in van: 'It was an accident'

A chaplain speaking on behalf of the family said Murillo-Estrada, her mother and another adult returned to their apartment on Hearthside Street after eating out. He said she thought Leslie was taken out of the van like the other four children.

But when Leslie's father returned home, he realized she was in the van. He tried to save her but it was too late.

Read more about the incident here.

Neighbors who saw Leslie pulled out of the van say it looked like she suffered heat-related injuries. However, the autopsy report has not been released.

Murillo Estrada has four other children. Prosecutors say Durham County Social Services removed some of her children from the family home.

DSS said it can't go into details on the whereabouts of the kids but said they're working with the family to ensure the safety of all kids in the household.

Report a Typo
Related Topics:
newshot carchild abuseDurham
(Copyright ©2016 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments