Case Update: Autopsy Results for Frankie Gonzalez Released

Frankie Gonzales and his older sister in January
Frankie and his older sister in January.
(Facebook)

The final autopsy report was released on Friday for two-year-old Frankie Isaiah Gonzalez, whose mother led police in early June to the dumpster in Waco, Texas where she abandoned his body. 

Sweet little Frankie’s death was ruled a homicide, and his cause of death was determined to be homicidal violence including blunt force trauma. 

The autopsy report included heartbreaking details of the injuries Frankie suffered in the weeks leading up to his death, which likely occurred on May 28. In addition to blunt force injuries, the medical examiner noted in the report contusions to Frankie’s forehead and scalp; numerous bruises on his arms and legs; a laceration on his forehead; three broken ribs with a total of seven rib fractures; and a broken right arm that likely occurred about a month before Frankie died. 

The pathologist’s report states, “Additional injuries such as smothering or other forms of asphyxiation cannot be ruled out.”

Frankie Gonzales and mother Laura Jane Sanchez Villalon
Frankie and his mother, Laura.
(Facebook)

The report also notes that Frankie’s mother, Laura Villalon Sanchez, confessed what happened to the police, indicating that Laura said she slammed Frankie’s head against the wall on May 28 and later found him unresponsive in his bed. Rather than calling for medical assistance or performing life-saving measures, she stuffed her son’s little body into a closet, where it remained for two days. Then, the report goes on, Laura wrapped Frankie’s body, still dressed in a gray shirt and gray pants printed with Mickey Mouse and his dog Pluto, in twelve garbage bags and drove him to the dumpster in the parking lot of the Park Lake Baptist Church in Waco, where she threw her baby away like trash.

The next day, Laura called the police from Waco’s Cameron Park, making up a bullshit story that Frankie had vanished while she, Frankie, and his two sisters were there. Police launched a huge search involving multiple agencies, and an Amber Alert was even issued, but the next morning, Laura confessed her involvement to the police and led them to Frankie’s body in the dumpster.

Lorenzo Gonzalez with son Frankie and daughter
Lorenzo with Frankie and his three-year-old sister.
(Facebook)

A couple weeks later, Frankie’s father, Lorenzo Gonzalez, was arrested, and it turns out his involvement was more than simply trusting Laura alone with the kids despite signing a family plan agreement with CPS that he would never do so. 

A court hearing was held on Thursday, August 6 in regard to Frankie’s two sisters, who are both also the children of Laura and Lorenzo. During the hearing Associate Judge Nikki Mundkowski granted a state motion to add aggravating factors to the CPS case, which will thereby expedite the process to terminate both Laura and Lorenzo’s parental rights. 

At the hearing on Thursday, several witnesses, including Waco Police Sergeant Jason Lundquist and CPS employees Olga Solyakova and Africa Cashaw, testified that Laura tested positive for methamphetamine about a month before Frankie died. Laura has a lengthy criminal record, including time spent in prison, where Frankie was born while Laura served a sentence for violating probation on a previous burglary conviction. She also has a long and storied history of drug abuse. 

Frankie’s sisters, ages six months and three years, tested positive at the same time for methamphetamine. The levels were high enough to show that they ingested the illicit substance, which likely means someone administered it to them. Great.

At the time of Frankie’s death, Laura, who previously had her parental rights terminated for six other children, was only allowed supervised visits with Frankie and the girls. However, Lorenzo told investigators that he thought Laura was doing better, which is why he trusted her alone with the children while he went to work. He and Laura had been separated for a while, but by the end of May, they had reunited and had been living together for about a month.

Sergeant Lindquist also testified at the hearing that he has been a law enforcement officer for 21 years and had never seen such a “coordinated and multifaceted response” from so many law enforcement agencies and community members as he did the day Laura reported Frankie missing. He testified, “I interviewed her for quite a while, and I told her I thought she was lying and to call me when she was ready to tell the truth.”

Frankie Gonzalez
Frankie Gonzalez in November of 2019.
(Facebook)

The Waco police sergeant testified that medical examiners told him Frankie’s shoulder had been broken about a month prior to his death, and his body showed numerous bruises in various stages of healing. He said both Laura and Lorenzo confessed to knowing about Frankie’s shoulder injury, and they both said they didn’t seek treatment for it, fearing the children would be removed by CPS. 

Assistant District Attorney Amber Martinez said during the hearing that the actions of both Lorenzo and Laura led to Frankie’s death. “Both parents ignored the bruises on Frankie, both parents ignored the broken shoulder, and both parents chose not to seek medical assistance for approximately a month while this child had a broken shoulder,” she said to Judge Mundkowski. “Frankie died as a result of the acts and/or inactions of both these parents, Laura Villalon and Lorenzo Gonzalez. If either or both of these girls are returned to either of these parents, we are putting these girls at risk of imminent physical bodily harm by one or both of these parents.”

An initial termination hearing is scheduled for September 1, and a final hearing on the matter is scheduled for December 8.

Click here for my ongoing coverage of Frankie’s case, or listen to the episode of Suffer the Little Children Podcast featuring Frankie here.

Sources: The Waco Tribune-Herald, Everything Lubbock

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