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Dallas Parents Charged After 3-Week-Old Baby Found Dead Inside Cooler

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas police have charged the parents of a newborn found dead at a motel with tampering with evidence.

Officers discovered the 3-week-old boy's body Saturday inside a cooler at the Days Inn in the 8300 block of South Lancaster Road. The baby's parents, Arturo Espinosa and Felicia Vasquez, were staying at the motel.

Arturo Espinosa and Felicia Vasquez
Arturo Espinosa and Felicia Vasquez (credit: Dallas County Jail)

Vasquez was arrested late Thursday. Espinosa was already in custody for an unrelated crime.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet determined how the baby died.

According to a CBS 11 News source, the parents told investigators the baby died a week earlier of natural causes, but that they were reluctant to call 911 for fear they would lose custody of their other children -- both toddlers.

Officials with Child Protective Services (CPS) confirm the agency removed a one-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy from the couple last Friday. That action was just one day before police say they discovered the newborn.

A CPS spokesperson did not say why the agency took custody of the other children, but Dallas County Jail records show their father was arrested that day in a case involving a stolen vehicle.

CPS confirms the parents have 10 children in all, including the newborn who died.

Sources say the remaining 7 children are living with a relative, a result of an earlier CPS investigation, though the agency would not confirm the custody situation.  It's unclear when and how CPS first became involved with the family.

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