Houston Woman Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison For Killing Friend, Kidnapping Newborn

Houston Woman Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison For Killing Friend, Kidnapping Newborn

A Houston woman who killed a friend and kidnapped the victim’s newborn baby was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Tuesday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“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.”

Erika Miranda-Alvarez, 35, pleaded guilty to murder for fatally stabbing 33-year-old Carolina Flores-Miranda and kidnapping the woman’s newborn baby on Dec. 19, 2017.

Family members found the victim’s body in her Aldine-area apartment and realized the baby was missing, setting off an exhaustive two-day search by multiple law enforcement agencies.

Officers found the child with Miranda-Alvarez at her apartment complex in the 9700 block of South Gessner, more than 30 miles from the murder scene.

Miranda-Alvarez had also recently been pregnant at the same time but had a miscarriage. Law enforcement officials said when she was arrested that she apparently killed her friend to take the victim’s 6-week-old baby to raise it as her own. She had been a friend of the victim’s family for several years.

When Houston Police Department detectives questioned her, Miranda-Alvarez initially admitted only to kidnapping, claiming that she went to the victim’s apartment and saw that her friend was dead so she took the baby.

Assistant District Attorney Casey Smith, who is assigned to the Homicide Division of the District Attorney’s Office, prosecuted the case and said Miranda-Alvarez planned out 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.

She noted that the victim’s family attended hearings and was in the courtroom Tuesday to see Miranda-Alvarez take responsibility and be sentenced to prison.

“This family has waited a long time for justice to be done, and now hopefully this will finally give them some closure,” Smith said.

Miranda-Alvarez must serve at least half of the prison sentence before she will be eligible for parole. She cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence.