Authorities in Texas have arrested and charged a man in connection with the murder of his 2-year-old daughter. Prior to the killing, the mother of the deceased toddler said the suspect face-timed her as he choked their child, Fox Houston reported.
Kairsten Watson also told the news outlet that the fatal incident happened a week after she repeatedly reported the minor’s father Deontray Flanagan to the police. The deceased toddler was identified as Zevaya Marie.
“Her face was just covered in blood. He hit her with something really hard, and then he called me on Facetime, and he showed me. He choked her on Facetime. I said, ‘Tray stop, that is your daughter, stop, she loves you.’ His exact words were you only love that man, you did this to her,” Watson recalled.
Police said the 25-year-old suspect had picked up his daughter from daycare on Monday before making his way to a Walmart store in North Harris County. Authorities said Flanagan threatened to hurt Zevaya if Watson refused to comply.
“He just wanted my phone. He’s screaming at me telling me what is the passcode, tell me the passcode, or she’s going to get hurt, and I’m telling him the passcode over and over, but I guess it just wasn’t enough,” said Watson.
Flanagan ultimately got possession of the phone as well as the passcode, but still drove away with Zevaya and engaged deputies in a chase. He is said to have struck other cars and driven on the wrong side of the road during the 30-mile pursuit. Flanagan was ultimately arrested after the car came to a halt.
The suspect did not sustain any injuries, but CPR was performed on his daughter before she was taken to a hospital where she died. “She was just such a happy baby and I just know she’s at peace,” Watson said about her daughter.
She also said the incident happened a week after she reached out to police about the deceased minor’s father, Fox Houston reported, and though she got in touch with law enforcement on three separate occasions, they told her they could not do anything about it.
“The first day I called, he took my child. I was giving her a bath, and he took her out of the tub, she wasn’t dressed, and he just took her out the house and drove away in a car, and didn’t bring her back until 11 a.m. the next day,” Watson said, adding that Flanagan started worrying her after they ended their relationship.
Flanagan, who has since been charged with murder, is being held on a $1 million bond. The victim’s family said it is their hope better action is taken to prevent such incidents from occurring.
“I wonder how many other Zevayas are around the world right now that are having the same problem in this city, in this state, we have to help one another,” Zevaya’s grandfather said.