PORT ISABEL, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching the Port Isabel area for the body of a baby boy.
This comes following the arrest of the child’s parents on March 18.
“It’s awful you’re talking about an innocent child and I hate to say it but who didn’t really have a chance,” said Jay, a resident on South Padre Island.
On Monday, Cameron County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office released information on the parents of the deceased child, Zachary D. DelaRosa and Susanne J. Pierce, who are facing charges of injury to a child and abuse of a corpse.
Constable Norman Esquivel said the parents admitted the child died in their care.
“At some point, information that was gathered from the mother and father, the child had died,” said Esquivel.
Esquivel said that neighbors in Long Island Village called the constable’s office on Wednesday, March 16 to conduct a welfare check on the home.
Though the cause of death is not clear, Susanne Pierce told officers she had the child last before his body went missing.
“Mother just remembers telling us that she was walking in certain areas with this child that was not alive. She said she went to several different parts of Port Isabel,” said Esquivel. “There’s an area off a little east of Long Island Village that she remembers being with the child but she does not remember the whereabouts of the child that’s all she remembers.”
Esquivel added the couple had the child at their home in Long Island Village, so there are no records of the child.
“This couple didn’t want law enforcement to find out about this birth, so there are no records of this birth happening with hospitals or doctors. That did not happen,” said Esquivel.
The investigation remains ongoing with the collaboration between Cameron County Constable Precinct 1, Child Protective Services, Texas Rangers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and U.S. Border Patrol K-9 units.
However, Esquivel said the surrounding water and wildlife are obstacles in their search efforts.
“I know there’s been a lot of people reaching out and wanting to help any way they can and it might just come to that,” said Esquivel.
Residents in the surrounding area are shocked at the news and said they have never seen this happen in their area.
“I hope that they get justice, I hope they find the child, I hope they find closure some where.”Jay, South Padre Island resident
There is a history of substance abuse according to Esquivel though he did not specify any relation to this case.
The couple have other children that were removed from their care by Child Protective Services prior to this case, according to Esquivel.
ValleyCentral reached out to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office but said they cannot comment on this investigation.
There are other pending charges against Pierce and DelaRosa as the investigation continues.