Houston Woman Sentenced to 40 Years for Murdering a Mom to Steal Newborn Baby

Houston Woman Sentenced to 40 Years for Murdering a Mom to Steal Newborn Baby
Erika Miranda Alvarez

A Houston woman, Erika Miranda-Alvarez, 35, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday for the murder of her friend Carolina Flores-Miranda, 33, and the kidnapping of the victim’s newborn baby. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the sentence, describing the crime as premeditated.

“This was a premeditated murder and kidnapping that should have never happened,” Ogg said. “I wish there was a way to undo all the harm and pain that this defendant inflicted on others, but all we can do is work to ensure that she spends decades in prison for her actions.”

Miranda-Alvarez pleaded guilty to the murder, which took place on December 19, 2017. She fatally stabbed Flores-Miranda and kidnapped her six-week-old baby. The victim’s body was discovered by family members in her Aldine-area apartment, prompting a two-day search for the missing child by law enforcement agencies.

Officers eventually found the baby with Miranda-Alvarez at her apartment complex, located more than 30 miles from the crime scene. Miranda-Alvarez had recently suffered a miscarriage and, according to law enforcement officials, killed her friend to take the baby and raise it as her own. She had been a friend of the victim’s family for several years.

During police questioning, Miranda-Alvarez initially admitted only to kidnapping, claiming she found her friend dead and decided to take the baby. However, Assistant District Attorney Casey Smith, who prosecuted the case, presented evidence that Miranda-Alvarez had planned the crime, including telling a friend days before the murder that she had her baby.

“She knew what she was doing was wrong, and we know that from what she said to people and what she did, including dumping the victim’s cellphone in the toilet tank,” Smith said.

The victim’s family attended the hearings and was present in the courtroom on Tuesday to see Miranda-Alvarez sentenced. Smith noted that the family had waited a long time for justice and expressed hope that the sentencing would provide them with some closure.

Miranda-Alvarez must serve at least half of her prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole and cannot appeal her conviction or sentence.