Case Update: Preliminary Autopsy Results Released for 2-Year-Old Frankie Gonzalez

Frankie Gonzalez
Frankie Gonzalez.

A very quick update today on the case of two-year-old Frankie Gonzalez, whose remains were discovered in a dumpster in Waco, Texas the day after his mother, Laura Villalon Sanchez, reported him missing from a local park.

A one-page preliminary cause of death report was released on Monday by pathologists at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, ruling Frankie’s manner of death a homicide caused by blunt force injuries.

Laura was arrested the day Frankie’s body was found; she has been held since June 2, 2020 in the McLennan County Jail on a first degree felony charge of injury to a child, although her charges may be upgraded in light of the autopsy results. She is also being held on a parole violation. Laura has a lengthy criminal history, including drug abuse, child neglect, and even prison time. In fact, Frankie was born while Laura was serving a prison term for a probation violation stemming from a prior burglary conviction. 

McLennan County First Assistant District Attorney Nelson Barnes is reportedly waiting for Frankie’s final autopsy report before deciding how to proceed with the case.

A few weeks later, Frankie’s father, Lorenzo Gonzalez, was arrested on a second-degree charge of endangering a child after it was discovered he had signed an agreement with the Department of Family and Protective Services stating that he would not leave the couple’s three young children, including Frankie and his two sisters, unsupervised with Laura. Lorenzo is also being held on a federal immigration hold.

Laura’s parental rights had previously been terminated for her six older children due to neglect and her long-term drug addiction.

Frankie Gonzales and his older sister in January
Frankie and his older sister in January.

Laura’s attorney, Susan Shafer, declined to comment on the report released on Monday. Lorenzo’s attorney, Phil Martinez, did comment, saying Lorenzo is “torn up” over the death of his little boy. Lorenzo told police he trusted Laura alone with the children on the evening of May 28, when authorities believe Frankie died, because he thought she was doing better.

“He is very upset that his son died,” Mr. Martinez said. “Initially, before he was arrested, he was cooperating with law enforcement about what he knew and what he could tell them about what might have happened. Every time I have talked to him about it, he is broken up regarding all of this. He doesn’t know what could have overcome the mother to do something like that. He is also looking for answers.”

Permanent memorial to Frankie Gonzalez in Waco
The permanent memorial for Frankie at the spot where his body was found in a dumpster on June 2.
(Waco Tribune-Herald)

Source: Waco Tribune-Herald

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