Headstart Owner Wanted For Murder Of Two-Year Old
The owner of a Head Start program is wanted for the murder of a two-year-old left in her care. Police and family are seeking information as to her whereabouts.
Berny Mayel Figueroa ran a Head Start company in Brenham, Texas. On March 11th, 2008, Dora Vasquez dropped her tiny daughter, Alexia Lopez, off with Figueroa. Dora was fighting to pay bills and reluctantly placed her child in the daycare because she knew the owner.
When Dora came back for her little daughter at 5:00 PM, she knew something was terribly wrong. Alexia was having trouble breathing. Figueroa said the child had been throwing up throughout the day. Dora feared it was Alexia’s asthma, but things were getting serious. Later that night Dora rushed her helpless child to the emergency room.
Doctors would soon deliver the sad news of Alexia's death, which was being ruled a homicide by the coroner. Alexia had been hit so hard in the stomach her large and small intestines were separated.
Detective Lloyd Powell of the Brenham, Tx., Police Department, was able to rule both Dora and her husband out as likely suspects in the murder. Their attention was soon focused on the person who had spent the majority of the day with Alexia, the head of the day care, Berny Mayel Figueroa.
Initially, Figueroa cooperated with the investigation. However, after the police interrogated her for an extended period of time, holes were beginning to appear in her story. Figueroa was caring for other children who were likely at risk, as well. Figueroa agreed to move out of her house pending further investigation.
The next day, Sgt. Otto Hanak received a call from Figueroa’s brother. The day care operator had disappeared from the hotel room where she was residing. The rangers were soon on scene and determined Figueroa had left in a hurry. A warrant for murder was issued for Figuera.
Naturally, Dora and her husband are devastated by the loss of their child. It is important the guilty parties be brought to justice. Child abuse usually takes a pattern meaning the behavior will be repeated. Other young lives are at risk. Please call 1-800-CRIME-TV, Brenham police 836-7337. Immigrants2bfree would also be willing to forward information, 720.951.1700.