Only 2-year-old Daniel Escamia’s mother will face capital murder charges for his death, the Wharton County Grand Jury decided during June deliberations.

The child died at his Louise home May 9, the victim of extensive injury and head trauma, according to the Fort Bend County Medical Examiner’s Office, which noted signs of repeated abuse.

No decision has been announced on whether the death penalty will be sought against 21-year-old Rebecca Lynn Hart of Louise.

Child Protective Services had investigated Daniel’s family before that deadly night, but he had been allowed back with his parents.

Just in Wharton County, 72 confirmed cases of child abuse were documented in 2021, down from 116 in 2020, according to state data. Daniel will be one in the statistics for 2022, not yet available.

Over the last five years, 97 children on average have been abused just in Wharton County.

“Due to confidentiality laws, I’m unable to discuss or comment on the specifics of this case,” Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Region 6 Media Specialist Melissa Lanford said.

Daniel’s condition came to light when someone in the child’s household called 9-1-1 saying Daniel wasn’t breathing.

Help came, focused on physical care for the child, only later noticing the telltale clues of what happened to Daniel.

CPS then took custody of a 3-year-old girl and a 9-month-old boy in the home. Their status was unknown as of press time.

“Removal decisions are legal decisions that involve attorneys and the judicial system. The agency must meet a certain level of proof to remove a child. The majority of our cases do not result in a removal,” Lanford said.

In 2021, 49 children had been taken from their households, a number down considerably from a high of 78 in 2019.

“If placed out of the home, the department attempts to place children with individuals they know – relatives, friends, etc.,” Lanford said.

Authorities contend that Daniel’s mother is responsible for his death.

The Wharton County Grand Jury also handed down a single-count indictment against the boy’s father, Eddie Doc Escamia Jr., 24, of the same address for endangering a child.

Authorities say Daniel’s father “place(d) the child in imminent danger ... namely living conditions in which (the child) was confined to an unsanitary bedroom closet, deprived of food and water and exposed to continuous physical abuse.”

The decision is based on the joint Wharton County sheriff and district attorney’s office investigations.

“Without going into details of the case, it is the opinion of the investigating agency, this office and the grand jury that he (Escamia) was not considered a party to the abuse,” D.A. Dawn Allison said.

Hart and Escamilla were arrested May 16. Both remain in the Wharton County Jail, Hart in lieu of a $1 million bond and Escamia in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

Authorities urge anyone who suspects child abuse to take action.

“Report, report and report child abuse. You don’t have to give a name and you can remain anonymous. No matter how insignificant you think something may be call it in. It could be a matter of life and death,  Lanford said.

The Child Abuse Hotline can be reached at 800-252-5400 or www.dfps.state.tx.us to make notification.

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