Police: Boyfriend of toddler’s mother beat, stomped child

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 09, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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This article includes descriptions of violence

ARLINGTON -- An 18-month-old girl was beaten and stomped to death in Arlington on Friday and then her body, clad in a diaper and wrapped in a blanket, was buried under a bridge near Springtown, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Arlington police on Monday arrested Joshua Markus Beard, 20, the boyfriend of the toddler’s mother, Alexis Botello, 17. He was already in jail in unrelated cases.

Beard faces a capital murder charge in the death of Tylea Moore. As of Monday, Botello had not been arrested.

After Beard killed the child, Botello told police, she and Beard dug the grave and buried the child near Springtown in Parker County, according to the affidavit.

Botello led investigators to the grave, said Lt. Christopher Cook, an Arlington police spokesman.

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s officer had not officially identified the body by late Monday. But, Cook said, “We do believe we have enough evidence to charge Mr. Beard, who is in our jail.

“We are not ruling out anything if there are additional charges or additional people arrested. The mom’s cooperating with us at this point.”

Beard remained in the Arlington Jail Monday night. Bail had not been set in the capital murder case.

The affidavit gave this account of the fatal assault on Friday:

The couple were at their home in the 2200 block of Polo Club Court in Arlington when Beard began pushing and yelling at Tylea, Botello said. The mother screamed at him but Beard kept hitting Tylea over and over again, leaving the toddler with bruises all over her body. The child also had bite marks on her body.

Beard picked up Tylea, whom he called the “little demon,” and threw her so hard on a bed that she bounced off and landed on the floor where Beard repeatedly stomped her in the stomach.

At some point, Tylea stopped breathing and the couple tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but she died.

Botello told detectives that Beard put Tylea’s body in the trunk of her car and they drove to Parker County to bury the child. They stopped at a Wal-Mart in Weatherford and bought gloves and two shovels. They found a remote area in the 1900 block of Sarra Lane near Springtown and dug a grave under a bridge. The couple buried the child in a diaper and wrapped her in a blue blanket. Beard put some logs and rocks on the dirt over the grave, and the couple left the two shovels near the bridge.

Afterward, they rented a room at the Extended Stay hotel in the 1900 block of W. Pleasant Ridge Road in Arlington, but it was unclear why. The room was registered to Beard.

Beard was arrested Saturday on drug charges and traffic violations unrelated to the child’s death.

From jail, he repeatedly tried to call Botello. He contacted his aunt, Trina McKenzie, who went to the hotel and found her.

When McKenzie asked Botello where Tylea was, Botello said the child was with Botello’s mother. But McKenzie later told investigators that the grandmother, Angela Botello, told her that she had not seen the child in over a month.

On Sunday, Arlington police were called to the hotel to investigate a report of a missing child. After initially saying that she hadn’t seen her daughter in two days, Botello told investigators that her boyfriend had killed the child but “he said he didn’t mean to do it.”

Ricardo Botello of San Antonio, Alexis’ father, said Monday that he talked to his daughter Sunday night and she wasn’t providing many details.

“I asked her what happened and where was Tylea,” Ricardo Botello said in a phone interview. “At first, she said she hadn’t seen the baby in a while, then two days. What mother doesn’t know when she last saw her baby?”

Ricardo Botello said his daughter and Beard began living in Arlington weeks ago after she graduated from Weatherford High School.

“I hadn’t talked to them in a while because I wasn’t happy with their situation,” Ricardo Botello said.

Beard was not Tylea’s father. The father, a U.S. Marine, was scheduled to return to Arlington this week.

Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763 Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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