An 11-month-old baby girl died the morning of Sept. 7 after the man taking care of her allegedly stuck his finger down the girl's throat to stop her from crying at a home in the 2600 block of Nations.
Police said 21-year-old Irving Gomez did not remove his finger until after the baby, Nevaeh Martinez, stopped breathing.
Gomez has been charged with capital murder and is being held on a $500,000 bond.
Police said Gomez is not a relative but also is not a stranger to the child. Gomez, according to police, lives on the 300 block of Rio Grande, near Downtown El Paso.
A woman familiar with Gomez in a professional capacity said Gomez was calm for the most part. She said but sometimes he would get agitated and defensive when confonted with issues.
Nevaeh's grandfather said on Monday that the family is shattered by her death and they are working to pick up the pieces.
The tragedy has transformed the quiet apartment complex in the 2600 block of Nations, sending neighbors such as Kimmar Hoffman into shock.
"I was asleep when detectives knocked on the door, and it really threw me off because I didn't hear about the child until I was on the other side of town,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said she remembers seeing Gomez move the young mother and her child into the apartment complex about a month ago.
"He was one of the ones moving in the furniture, with the female,” Hoffman said on Saturday. “There was another guy as well—I know I saw (Gomez) before."
A neighbor who helped manage the apartment building where the baby and her mother lived, said he saw them leaving in a dark pick-up with a man he had never seen before at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday.
Jose Vargas said the baby's mother is quiet and reserved and that he never heard anything out of the ordinary. He said the mom and young daughter had only lived there for about a month and a half.
"I wish I would have heard something ... I have children too. This is awful," Vargas said.
This is the second alleged homicide of an El Paso baby in just over a month. El Paso Police on Aug. 1 charged Antonio Lopez with capital murder in the death of his 11-month-old foster daughter.
There have been 19 homicides in El Paso this year.