Fort Liberty soldier charged with murder in death of his 8-month-old daughter

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Thursday, May 23, 2024
Soldier charged with killing his infant daughter
More than a year after her death, Misty Delatorre's father faces criminal charges in her death.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fort Liberty soldier is now charged with murder in the death of his 8-month-old daughter.

Misty Delatorre died in February 2023. Her death was ruled a homicide by the North Carolina Medical Examiner, but until now nobody had been charged with crimes associated with her death.

Delatorre's mom and grandmother fought relentlessly for justice over the last year.

More than a year after her death, Misty Delatorre's father faces criminal charges in her death.

"I just want justice. I did. I just want my grandbaby's death -- someone needs to be held accountable," the baby's grandmother Misty Bray said. "She's innocent. She didn't even have her first tooth yet."

ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson first reported earlier this year that the investigative report by the medical examiner stated in February of 2023 Delatorre was in the care of her dad, who has been identified as Sgt. Gabriel Ceville. He's a Fort Liberty soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division.

He now faces charges of unpremeditated murder, involuntary manslaughter and domestic violence. According to information released in court Wednesday, the victim of the domestic violence charge was not Ceville's 8-month-old daughter but another family member. Ceville's defense attorney said that charge was related to an incident of parental discipline.

Bray was at Ceville's preliminary hearing Thursday. She said she was shocked to hear further details about her granddaughter's death.

"This is sad. I'm just devastated. I can't believe it. We don't know how to feel. It's just a lot. We didn't know a lot of the stuff that they said in there," Bray said.

Bray's daughter and Delatorre's mom, Alina, said she wanted to be at the hearing but was not able to attend with such short notice. She lives in California; she was able to listen in by Facetiming with Bray.

"It's a step but it's far from justice. I cannot grieve properly for my baby because justice has not been served," Alina said. "It is unbelievable that so much violence was inflicted onto an innocent 8-month-old baby. My daughter's murderer is walking free and we will not stop until that monster is put away."

Fort Liberty Sgt. Gabriel Ceville (Photo by Misty Bray)
Fort Liberty Sgt. Gabriel Ceville (Photo by Misty Bray)

In court, the military prosecutor said Ceville said in text messages to his wife that his head hurt and Delatorre was screaming. Shortly after that he texted that the baby was unresponsive and had thrown up.

Records show he called 911 to report his daughter was not breathing. The baby was airlifted to UNC Hospitals and died a few days later.

An autopsy ruled she died of blunt force trauma to her head and neck, and the report states law enforcement suspected foul play.

Prosecutors said doctors said Delatorre had severe brain and eye injuries comparable to a bad car crash and too many hemorrhages to count.

"Having to find out the injuries like that? Like who does that? That's a monster. She did nothing. She may have been fussy, but that's it," Bray said.

At the time of the incident, Delatorre's mom was in California.

"I felt like my world was just like closing in. I felt like I couldn't breathe," Alina said.

Just two weeks before Delatorre's death, a Cumberland County judge awarded 50/50 custody to both parents.

In January, before any charges had been filed against him, Ceville told Wilson that his legal team advised him not to comment about the case. When Wilson reached back out to Ceville on Wednesday about now being charged in his daughter's death, he hung up on her.

On Thursday, Wilson tried to talk with Ceville outside the Orange County Courthouse. He was there about a different case. This case involves one of Delatorre's family members who is charged with assaulting Ceville at the hospital where the baby was airlifted to with her injuries.

Wilson asked Ceville several questions about the charges filed against him and how he can explain his daughter's injuries while in his care.

Ceville would only answer, "No comment. I have representation. You can contact them." When Wilson asked Ceville about his daughter Misty, he also said no comment.

Delatorre's grandmother tells Wilson these charges against Ceville are the start of getting justice for her granddaughter. But what she can't understand is why Ceville is still walking around free.

"He hurt my grandbaby, so why is he still walking?" Bray asked.

Ceville remains out on his own recognizance as he waits to hear from the military court if his case will move forward for trial by General Court-Martial.

"Now we wait. That's what we've been doing is waiting, but I'm continuing to fight for her. I have to that's all I want is to make sure that she did not, nothing that happened to her is left in vain. Nothing. I just want justice," Bray said.