Texas Digest: Mom admits suffocating her child, authorities say


Sheriff: Mom admitted to suffocating infant

Authorities in South Texas say a 34-year-old woman admitted suffocating her 1-month-old daughter and is now facing a capital murder charge.

Maria Guadalupe Cardenas was being held Monday in lieu of $1 million bail in Hidalgo County, in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Hidalgo County sheriff’s office said in a news release that deputies on Saturday responded to a call from someone later identified as Cardenas, saying that she had killed her infant child.

Deputies found the unresponsive body of the infant in the house. The sheriff’s office said Cardenas admitted that she had suffocated the child.

A phone number for Cardenas’ home or an attorney could not be found.


3 dead, 2 critical after crash

Three people are dead and two are critically injured after one SUV crashed into another at an intersection in rural West Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the crash occurred Saturday afternoon near Lefors, about 65 miles northeast of Amarillo.

DPS said the 29-year-old driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe was unable to avoid a Chevy Equinox that did not yield the right of way at a stop sign and entered the intersection in front of the Tahoe.

Authorities identified the three killed as 72-year-old Wesley Lewis of Elk City, Okla., and 79-year-old Mildred Garza and 79-year-old Alverto Garza, both of Leedey, Okla.

The driver of the Equinox and another passenger were hospitalized in critical condition. DPS said Monday that it had no updates on their condition.


Convention center serves Christmas meal after Harvey

The downtown Houston convention center that sheltered thousands of evacuees after Hurricane Harvey opened its doors again for a Christmas feast.

KHOU-TV reported that thousands of people attended the annual Christmas Eve feast Sunday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Volunteers handed out plates of turkey, stuffing and yams. Guests could also receive bags of canned food, public health screenings and Christmas presents for children.

One volunteer, Robert Goins, told the television station that he wanted to “give everybody a little bit of hope.”

Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, and much of the Texas Gulf Coast are still working to recover from the devastating August storm.


Man dies retrieving packages left on car roof

A man was struck and killed by a car as he retrieved a package he had accidentally left on the roof of his car after a late-night shopping trip, Waco police say.

The 59-year-old man died at the scene of the accident about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.

The man might have left items on the roof while packing up in the parking lot, authorities said.

A package flew from the roof into the traffic lane as he pulled out of the parking lot. Police said he stopped his car and walked into the road to retrieve the item when a passing car struck him.

Police did not release his name, pending notification of his family.


Child found walking along highway is safe

A 3-year-old boy who had wandered from his day care was found walking along a Houston highway Friday afternoon, Houston police said.

KHOU-TV reported that the boy was found by a driver who had noticed him along the highway’s shoulder.

Police said the child was unharmed and was returned to the nearby day care center in a church.

The child’s grandmother told the television station that the boy was fine and was not shaken by the experience.

The Littlest Ones School did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment.

Child Protective Services and Houston police are investigating the incident.


Dozens of transit vehicles burned in fire

A fire that broke out early Saturday burned more than 30 city transit vehicles in Victoria, where residents were already struggling for transportation after losing cars in the flooding from Hurricane Harvey in August.

The Victoria Advocate reported that firefighters responded about 4:20 a.m. Saturday to an area where dozens of buses were stored. Three or four buses were already engulfed in flames at that time.

Transit authority representatives said 32 buses and transit vehicles were burned, but the extent of the damage was unclear. About 21 buses were not burned.

Transit authority officials said they will survey the damage and determine what limited routes they can offer.


Coast Guard seizes Mexican fishing boat

The Coast Guard confiscated a Mexican fishing vessel after finding its crew illegally fishing off South Texas, authorities said.

The Guard said the four-person crew had nearly 2,000 pounds of fish, primarily red snapper, when it was stopped Thursday night.

The crew was transferred to the U.S. Border Patrol for enforcement action.

The crew was found in a lancha, a slender vessel usually about 30 feet long that’s popular with Mexican fisherman.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Keith Pierre in Corpus Christi said the volume of red snapper and other fish being poached in U.S. waters is having a “devastating environmental and economic impact.”

Coast Guard crews based in Corpus Christi have detected nearly 150 lanchas suspected of fishing illegally and stopped about 30 of them this year.

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