Northeast Tarrant

Scalding death of Haltom City toddler ruled a homicide

Lyfe “Gabe” Flores, 2, of Haltom City, died April 4 at a Dallas hospital from complications of thermal burns and his death has been ruled a homicide, according to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office.
Lyfe “Gabe” Flores, 2, of Haltom City, died April 4 at a Dallas hospital from complications of thermal burns and his death has been ruled a homicide, according to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office. Courtesy

A Haltom City toddler died from complications of thermal burns in a Dallas hospital in April — injuries he suffered at his grandmother’s home — authorities said Tuesday.

His grandmother, Patricia A. Flores, 43, has been charged with injury to a child/serious bodily injury.

Officials at the Dallas County medical examiner’s officer ruled Lyfe “Gabe” Flores’ death a homicide. The ruling was released last week after tests were completed.

“We don’t agree with this,” Jeffrey Linick of San Antonio, Flores’ attorney, said Tuesday by telephone. “The medical examiner is not aware of all the information.”

Asked whether the charge will be changed, Haltom City Detective Matt Spillane said Tuesday in an email, “At this time, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office has been forwarded all the information in reference to this case.”

Patricia Flores, the boy’s legal guardian, is accused of injuring him by not seeking medical help after he suffered the burns.

“Since this is a pending investigation, I can’t comment except to say that the case is under review by our office,” said Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

An arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram in April gave this account:

Flores said she had been preparing to do some cleaning in late March in her Haltom City home and had run hot water in the bathtub for mopping.

She told a Haltom City officer that she left the bathroom for a few minutes, returning to find her grandson lying on the floor. Flores told Haltom City police she didn’t seek help because she believed that as a certified nursing assistant, she could care for his injuries, according to the affidavit.

Six days passed before Flores called 911 on March 30, reporting that her grandson appeared to be going into shock and was having trouble breathing.

Lyfe was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, and Flores was interviewed there. Her grandson was later transferred to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Lyfe died April 4 in Parkland and Flores left her Haltom City home. After police made a public appeal to locate her, she surrendered to deputies in Frio County on April 21 on a warrant accusing her of injury to a child.

Flores was returned to Tarrant County, and she was free Tuesday on $75,000 bail. She has moved to San Antonio.

Under conditions of her release, Flores must wear a GPS monitor and have no unsupervised contact with children under 17. She has a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Lyfe’s baby sister was placed in foster care after her brother died and remained in CPS custody on Tuesday, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said in a email.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr

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