(CBS4) – A man and woman from Florida were arrested and face charges of child abuse resulting in death after San Antonio police say the pair dumped the body of a child in Colorado’s high country. According to an Bexar County arrest affidavit, Nickolle Aguilar, 25, was the child’s mother and Daniel Garcia, 26, was his stepfather.
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Court documents state the child, 5-year-old Domenic Aguilar-Acevedo, died in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, on July 24. Aguilar told authorities Garcia hit the boy so hard he slammed into a wall and then started vomiting a dark substance.
The child later died, and authorities say surveillance video shows Garcia carrying a lifeless body down a staircase at the hotel in the early morning hours of July 25. Aguilar then told agents they traveled to Colorado with the boy’s body.
Agents say the couple had a hotel reservation through July 29, but left without properly checking out.
The suspects camped in a remote area near Berthoud Pass where they buried the boy’s body, agents say. The suspects then packed up and drove south to Costa Rica. Aguilar says that’s when her own mother questioned her about the boy and his wellbeing.
Aguilar admitted to her mother what happened, and the mother then called authorities in San Antonio.
Aguilar and her mother went with FBI agents to the campsite campsite on Aug. 25 and found the boy’s body in a deep ravine. They say the body was exposed to the elements and animal activity for nearly a month.READ MORE: Bee Hives Set On Fire At Fountain Nature Center, Firefighters Say
Last week, FBI Denver told CBS4 they were working on an evidence recovery operation on Berthoud Pass. The San Antonio Police Department confirmed that with CBS4 Investigator Kati Weis, saying agents were looking for the child’s body on Berthoud Pass last week.
Court documents state Aguilar and her mother traveled to the campsite to “do the right thing” and give the boy a proper burial.
CBS4 Investigates spoke on the phone with Aguilar’s mother. She didn’t want to be interviewed, but said she is still in disbelief about what happened, and is having a hard time processing everything.
Weld County Coroner Dr. Michael Burson performed the autopsy for Grand County as an independent contractor.
Aguilar told agents she witnessed Garcia abusing the child ahead of his death. She told agents she didn’t intervene because “she was too eager to be in a relationship.” She reportedly said she and Garcia talked about losing custody of their other children and chose to not report Domenic’s death.
It’s not clear how many children the couple has or who is caring for them, but a social media page for Aguilar shows she had at least one other younger daughter.MORE NEWS: PHOTOS: Bull Elk Freed From Netting In Genesee
Garcia was arrested Friday in Miami Dade County, Fla., and Aguilar was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday. The U.S. Marshal’s Service assisted in their arrests, according to San Antonio Police. The two are currently booked in county jails in Florida, and will be extradited to Texas.