Parents Arrested After 3-Year-Old’s Body Found In Container Of Acid In Closet

Police say a Texas couple attempted to cover up their daughter's alleged drowning death by dissolving her remains in a bucket stashed in a bedroom closet.

February 19, 2019

Monica Dominguez; Gerardo Zavala-Loredo [Webb County Sheriff’s Office]

Monica Dominguez; Gerardo Zavala-Loredo [Webb County Sheriff’s Office]

By: Mike McPadden

LAREDO, TX — The mother and father of a three-year-old girl were arrested for attempting to cover up her death after investigators found the child’s remains inside a container filled with acid, according to police.

Monica Dominguez, 37, and Gerardo Zavala Loredo, 32, were taken into custody on Thursday in relation to the alleged drowning death of their daughter, Rebecca Zavala. Both suspects have been charged with evidence tampering, endangering a child, and abuse of a corpse.

The Webb County Sheriff’s Office said it acted on an anonymous tip last week about possible hazardous material inside the couple’s home. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators discovered a five-gallon bucket of acid in a bedroom closet — inside of which were the body parts of toddler Rebecca Zavala.

Monica Dominguez, the girl’s mother, reportedly told police that Rebecca drowned while taking a bath without adult supervision. Afterward, police allege, Dominguez asked Gerardo Zavala-Loredo, the girl’s father, to help her dispose of the body.

Talking to the press on Friday, Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said, “As you can imagine, it's very difficult for all of us in law enforcement and for the first responders to be in a situation to come across a scene like we did yesterday.”

Alaniz also added, “We are now going to rely on the forensic evidence … to examine the remains of the body to determine if there are any injuries consistent with a possible murder.”

Judge Leticia Martinez granted Dominguez a $175,000 bond and Zavala-Loredo a $125,000 bond. Both suspects remain behind bars at the county jail.

At the time of her arrest, Dominguez was on probation for a previous case involving the injury of a child. Zavala-Loredo is in the United States illegally and, as a result, faces an immigration hold.

The couple has four other children, each of whom has been turned over to Child Protective Services.

Read more: KTRK, KGNS

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