Father of dead 8-month-old girl surrenders at Mexico border
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The father of a baby girl who was found dead outside a Los Angeles-area mortuary had fled to Mexico but surrendered to FBI agents Monday.
Alexander Echeverria, 22, of South Sacramento was accompanied by his lawyer when he surrendered at about noon at a border crossing near San Diego, Sacramento County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. James Wilcox said at a news conference.
The detective said he was taken to a jail in San Diego.
He was held on suspicion of first-degree murder and assault on a child causing great bodily injury, according to information on a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department inmate information website.
Echeverria had been described as a person of interest in the death of his daughter, 8-month-old Alexia Rose Echeverria.
Her body, partially covered by a blanket, was discovered on May 27. She was in a car seat sitting on the ground behind a dumpster outside the Funeraria del Angel Bellflower Mortuary in Bellflower, a Los Angeles suburb.
However, authorities believe she died in Sacramento. Wilcox declined to release details about her death but said based on autopsy results, “it does not appear that Alexia’s death is natural.”
Echeverria will be returned to Sacramento within the next 10 days, where he will face charges in connection with the death of his daughter, the detective said.
Echeverria also had an arrest warrant from Sacramento for an unrelated months-old domestic violence case, Wilcox said.
Family members had reported Echeverria missing on Memorial Day, the same day that his daughter’s body was found. They said he suffers from depression and had made suicidal statements.
Alexia’s mother, Karla Alvarado, told KABC-TV that she saw Echeverria and her daughter on a FaceTime video chat on May 26 and that he later phoned.
“At around 4 p.m., he called me crying hysterically,” she said. “He couldn’t even talk, and I was super scared. I was like, ‘What’s going on? Did something happen to Alexia, did you get into a car accident? What happened?’”
“He couldn’t tell me. He just kept crying and crying and crying,” she said.
Alvarado, who lives with Echeverria, told KOVR-TV that she demanded he come home with their daughter or she would call police.
“She had just had just learned how to say, ‘Mama.’ She was already calling me mama. She was clapping for everything,” Alvarado said.