A Texas couple was sentenced Friday for their part in dissolving their two-year-old daughter’s remains in acid after she drowned in a bathtub.
Monica Dominguez, 38, and her husband Gerardo Zavala Loredo, 32, were arrested in February after police discovered the remains of their toddler, Rebecka Zavala, sealed in a five-gallon container containing acid that was hidden inside a closet, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
Both parents pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence of a human corpse on Friday. A judge sentenced Zavala Loredo to 14 years in prison after he took a plea deal, KTRK reported. Dominguez also pleaded guilty to child endangerment and abuse of a corpse and was sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison.
The 20-year sentence will run consecutively with her 10-year sentence for violating probation in a prior child injury case in 2015 where her nine-month-old son suffered six fractures, two to his right arm, and two on each leg.
The judge could not charge either parent with murder because authorities could not determine a cause of death from the state of Rebecka’s remains, Zavala Loredo’s defense attorney Abundio Rene Cantu told KGNS.
Dominguez told investigators Rebecka’s death was an accident because she was left unsupervised in a bathtub and drowned, authorities said.
She added that she asked her husband for help in getting rid of the body.
The couple’s four other children, ranging in ages between 1 and 11, were taken into custody by Child Protective Services, the Morning Times reported.