Crime

Affidavit: Baby died after 'stay-at-home-father' violently shook her for crying during soccer game

EL PASO, Texas - The "stay-at-home father" accused in the death of his 5-mont-old daugther allegedly told police he grabbed the baby by her face and shook her because the baby was crying during his favorite team's soccer game, a criminal complaint states.

Detectives with the Crimes Against Persons Unit charged Pedro Salgado, the child's father, with Capital Murder. The child's mother, Michelle Gutierrez, was charged with Injury to a Child by Omission. 

The investigation began on May 3, 2019 when a 5-month-old girl was taken to a local hospital.  The girl died as a result of the injuries she sustained at home, police said.

A criminal complaint obtained by ABC-7 states Salgado called Gutierrez at work and asked her to come home cause their baby was unresponsive. Salgado allegedly told Gutierrez the infant "slipped off her stroller," a criminal complaint states.

Police officers who arrived at the scene said the baby had "visible marks on her lower chin and face area near her temple," the court document states.

Under interrogation, the criminal complaint states, Salgado allegedly told police "he grabbed the baby's face forcefully to the point it made the baby cry."  The document further states Salgado told police he is a "'stay-at-home father' and felt overwhelmed with his responsibilities with his children."

Salgado told police his favorite soccer team was playing and he was watching the game on television. During the second half, the baby girl began to cry and "frustrated" Salgado, the court document states.

Salgado "admitted to forcefully grabbing the baby by her face and shaking her once," the document states, "the defendant confessed in detail that he did not know if the baby was breathing after her shook her."

Salgado, the document states, "admitted to walking to the living room to watch the second half of the televised soccer game ... Once the game had finalized, (Salgado) checked on the baby and noticed the baby was not breathing and was non-responsive." 

Instead of calling 911 for immediate assistance, Salgado called the baby's mother at work to tell her "he had dropped the baby," the court document states, "Once first responders were at the scene, (Salgado) claimed the baby had slipped out of her stroller and suffocated in a pile of clothes."  Gutierrez told police she had never seen her infant daughter slip out of the stroller.

Police said Salgado then changed his account of the events several times before admitting to grabbing the child by the face and shaking her, the criminal complaint states. Salgado allegedly admitted "he may have taken it too far with the baby and that resulted in her death," the court document states. 

A second investigation revealed a second child at the home was found to have similar injuries to the 5-month-old infant who died, police said. That child, who is nearly two years old, was evaluated at a hospital. Police charged Salgado with Injury to a Child in connection to that case. Gutierrez is facing charges because of the injuries to the toddler. A criminal complaint affidavit states the mother lied to police about the injuries to the toddler in order to protect Salgado. 

A spokesman with Child Protectives Services told ABC-7 CPS has no record of any child abuse reports regarding Salgado and Gutierrez. 
 


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