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2-year-old boy dead from numerous blunt force injuries; sister, her boyfriend charged

Selissa Flores, 22, and Miguel Berumen-Zepeda, 25, are facing charges in connection to the death of her 2-year-old brother in East Austin on Saturday. (Photos: Austin Police Department)

A two-year-old boy is dead after suffering numerous blunt force injuries, and his sister and her boyfriend are facing charges in connection with his death.

According to an affidavit, Austin Police responded to a 911 call on Saturday, June 2, around 3 p.m regarding a child who stopped breathing at a residence in the 6400 block of Springdale Road in East Austin.

The caller told dispatchers that the baby was eating when he stopped breathing, and that the baby was not awake. The caller also said the boy was cold to the touch and they were unable to open his mouth to perform CPR.

Police say the child appeared to be in full rigor mortis when they arrived, and there was fresh trauma on the left side of the boy's face. His hair was also wet, and his lip and lower leg had healing abrasions. There was vomit on the child's clothing and on the floor of one of the bedrooms, and soap bubbles and hair here found the kitchen sink.

The boy's mother told police that she took the victim to the home of her adult daughter, identified as 22-year-old Selissa Desiree Flores, the day before. She said the boy had not been sick or suffered any injuries.

When officers interviewed the victim's 16-year-old brother, he told detectives he was at Flores' house when the 2-year-old, identifed as Noel Leal, told him he did not feel good and he was hungry. The witness gave the boy some Tylenol and took him to the couch and gave him a French fry.

The victim's brother then said he was in the kitchen when he heard Flores scream that the boy was not breathing. The witness told police he started CPR and that the boy was cold. Soon afterward, Flores' boyfriend, identified as 25-year-old Miguel Osbaldo Berumen-Zepeda, arrived at the home, according to the 16-year-old.

However, when Berumen-Zepeda was interviewed by investigators, who said he went to get chicken and potato wedges before going to the home. According to court documents, Berumen-Zepeda said he came home around 2 p.m. and the victim was sitting on the couch watching TV, and in good health.

Berumen-Zepeda told police he went to the restroom for about 5 to 10 minutes when he heard the commotion that the boy was not breathing. He says he started performing CPR while Flores called 911. He also stated he cleaned up white fluid coming from the victim's mouth with a black t-shirt, which he then threw in the trash.

When police interviewed Flores, she said the boy came over on Friday night and complained he wasn't feeling well. She gave him medicine and chicken soup, and he went to to sleep on the couch.

Flores told police the next day, the boy complained his stomach was hurting after Berumen-Zepeda left to get chicken. She says she gave him another Tylenol and that his head was hot while his body was cold. He was on the couch eating a fry, she says, when his eyes rolled back and he fell backward on the couch. Flores says she laid the boy on the couch and called 911.

The Travis County Medical Examiner's Officer performed a post-mortem examination of the boy, and found he had a skull fracture, hemorrhages on the back of his head, contusions on the brain, bruising on his face, tears to his pancreas and mesentary, adhesions to the intestinal area, contusions to the left groin, bruising on his back, and deep hemorrhaging in his armpits.

The medical examiner says the preliminary cause of death is homicide by blunt force injuries.

After the examination, police interviewed Flores again, who stated that the victim was fussy and crying on Friday night, and that Berumen-Zepeda stayed over. When she woke up the next morning, she found the 2-year-old obviously dead in the back corner bedroom. She told police Berumen-Zepeda begged her not to say anything.

Police say Flores claimed she was asleep and didn't know what happened to the boy, and that Berumen-Zepeda never left the apartment. She said later in the day she used baby wipes to clean up the victim and that Berumen-Zepeda changed the boy's clothes.

According to court documents, Flores and the 16-year-old witness moved the boy's body into the living room and put it on the couch. Flores said she then called 911 and deleted text messages from her phone. The affidavit also says Flores admitted she told the 911 operator Noel choked, before moving his body.

Investigators once again interviewed the 16-year-old witness, who says he saw Berumen-Zepeda hit the boy once on Friday night because he was crying. He says Berumen-Zepeda then put the victim in the back corner bedroom. He heard the boy cry, and a few minutes later Berumen-Zepeda came out of the room.

The teen says he then went to sleep. When he woke up on Saturday, he heard Flores and Berumen-Zepeda screaming, and saw the boy dead in the bedroom. He told police that Berumen-Zepeda changed the boy's clothes and cleaned him up before calling 911.

A Child Protective Services official says they have a history with Noel's family, but years before he was born. Details for that will remain confidential.

Family friends have organized a GoFundMe page to help pay for Noel's funeral.

Both Selissa Flores and Miguel Berumen-Zepeda are currently charged with tampering with physical evidence. Berumen-Zepeda is charged with injury to a child.

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