HOUSTON (TCD) — A 2-year-old girl died this week after her father reportedly pulled her out of day care, hit the child’s mother, and led police on a miles-long chase that ended in a standoff.
In a press briefing Monday, March 20, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez shared details about the chain of events leading to the girl’s hospitalization and the man’s arrest.
At approximately 10:15 a.m., Deontray Flanagan allegedly went to his daughter’s day care and left with her. Then, they went to a retail store nearby where Flanagan reportedly “confronted the mother of the child” and threatened her by asking for her cellphone and passcode to open it.
Gonzalez said Flanagan “threatened to hurt the child if she did not comply.”
The woman reportedly gave Flanagan the phone and tried to rescue her daughter but couldn’t. Flanagan allegedly “struck [the woman] a couple times to the face,” then fled with the girl.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the woman’s location and were able to track Flanagan’s location. Other law enforcement agencies in the area received information about Flanagan and located his vehicle. A pursuit ensued and the car ultimately swerved and came to a stop close to a church on Stuebner Airline Road.
The Houston Police Department SWAT team arrived and engaged in a standoff with Flanagan. According to Gonzalez, one of the hostage negotiators established communication and learned the child was “in pretty bad shape.”
Officials launched a “proactive operation using a distraction device” and extracted the 2-year-old and Flanagan from the car. EMS performed CPR on the girl “almost the entire time” until a LifeFlight helicopter arrived to take her to the hospital, where she was in critical condition.
Gonzalez announced on Twitter Monday afternoon that the child died. She had reportedly suffered trauma to her body.
Flanagan has been booked into the Harris County Jail for murder.
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