Texas Man Arrested After Baby Stuffed In Backpack Dies, Police Say

Trevor Rowe is accused of leaving the 10-month-old girl in his vehicle while he was at work.

January 09, 2020

Trevor Marquis Rowe [Lubbock County Sheriff's Office]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Texas man was booked on capital murder charges this week after his girlfriend’s 10-month-old daughter died while in his care, police said.

Trevor Rowe, 27, of Lubbock “crammed” Marion Jester-Montoya “in a backpack, inside a vehicle, for an extended period,” according to an arrest warrant obtained by Lubbock's KLBK-TV.

Rowe allegedly told police he picked the infant up from her mom Tuesday morning and went to work. Upon arriving at the job site, police say he told them he stuffed the baby into a backpack and placed it on the front passenger floorboard of his vehicle, the Abilene Reporter-News reported.

Authorities said Rowe told them he checked on the infant later that morning and discovered she had gotten out of the backpack. Rowe allegedly said he put the baby back in the bag and returned to work. Rowe took his lunch break, around 1 p.m. and when he checked on the infant, she was “lightly crying but breathing,” the warrant alleges.

Rowe said he drove to a fast-food restaurant and two stores before he returned to work and placed the baby, still in the backpack, in the trunk of his car, according to police.

He allegedly told investigators that it was shortly before 5 p.m. that he discovered the baby had turned white and was not breathing. Rowe reportedly called 911 and started CPR while awaiting the arrival of paramedics. The child was taken to University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

“Trevor Rowe advises he knew that placing a person into a trunk was dangerous to human life,” the warrant alleges. “Rowe advised that placing someone into a backpack was even more dangerous.”

According to court documents, Rowe faced potential criminal charges in 2018 after he was accused of leaving two children home unattended while he went to get something to eat. The case was closed “in the interest of justice,” and Rowe was never formally charged, Lubbock's KCBD-TV reported.

The baby's relatives told the television station they are devastated they won’t get to watch the baby grow up.

“She was actually learning to walk,” said Marion’s dad, Emilio Montoya.

Sheilah Montoya, the baby’s grandma, told KCBD-TV the family was planning a future vacation to Disney World and had been organizing a Minnie Mouse-themed party for Marion’s first birthday in March. “We found the dress we were getting for her,” Sheilah Montoya said.

Rowe’s bond has been set at $2 million. He is being held at the Lubbock County Detention Center.

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