KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A 20-year-old Klamath Falls (search) woman was held without bail Tuesday after leading authorities to the body of her four-year-old daughter, after first claiming the child had been kidnapped at a California flea market.
Amanda Hodges was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of murder-by-abuse, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, manslaughter and child neglect in Klamath County Circuit Court.
An autopsy on the child's body, which was found wrapped in garbage bags and buried in a shallow grave near the community of Keno on the Winema National Forest (search), was to be performed Tuesday at the Oregon State Police crime lab in Central Point.
District Attorney Ed Caleb said the child, Cassandra Hodges, had apparently been injured Thursday and died Friday, at her home in Klamath Falls.
The body was hidden Friday before Hodges and her live-in boyfriend Eric Sanchez Guillermo, 37, went to the Fresno, Calif. area, where Hodges' mother lives, Caleb said.
Guillermo was arrested Monday on suspicion of murder and conspiring to commit a crime. He is being held in Fresno jail on $2 million bail. Caleb said he will be charged with the same counts as Hodges.
The case will be presented to a grand jury on Thursday. After that, authorities plan to seek Guillermo's extradition from California.
Caleb said the murder-by-abuse charge implied that the child's death was caused by recklessness rather than an intention to kill her, and that the child neglect charge alleged her mother and Guillermo failed to get her medical attention.
Caleb added that state child welfare authorities had an open case file involving one of Hodges' two younger children.
Cassandra Hodges had been living with her grandmother until Mother's Day of this year, when she returned to Klamath Falls, Caleb said.
The Klamath Falls couple told authorities in Fresno, Calif., that the girl was last seen around 10 and 11 a.m. Sunday at a crowded flea market in Selma, Calif., with her mother, Guillermo, and two siblings. The couple said they were shopping for gifts on their way to see relatives in Porterville, Calif.
Fresno County Sheriff's deputies searched the 20-acre flea market and the area around it for several hours Sunday but did not find the girl.
Authorities said they began to doubt the couple's story and arrested Guillermo on Monday morning.