Dad charged after 2-year-old found dead in home amid 'horrible filth,' blood foaming from her mouth
11/23/2022 2:34 pm PST
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TCD) -- A father has been arrested and charged after his 2-year-old daughter was found dead in a home reportedly filled with rotten food and trash.
Wichita County Jail records show Garrett Gestes was booked on two counts of abandoning or endangering a child.
According to the arrest warrant, on Dec. 20, 2020, at 9:20 a.m., Wichita Falls Police Department officers went to a home at 1622 Longview St. regarding a deceased 2-year-old girl and found the child "face up on the kitchen floor."
The responding officers were reportedly "instantly taken aback by the smell of rotten food and general filth," and the home was covered with "spoiled food, dirty clothes, empty soda cans, and dirty dishes." This even reportedly involved the children’s bedrooms.
Officers saw that the little girl had blood foaming from her mouth and nose, and her death was considered suspicious. A 6-year-old girl, 3-year-old nonverbal autistic girl, and 2-month-old boy also lived in the home.
Gestes reportedly told police he and his family went out to dinner the night before and she seemed fine.
The 6-year-old spoke with officials at a child advocacy center and said her sister "appeared to be getting sick a few days prior to her death." She reportedly said she "found the victim in her bed with purple stuff coming from her mouth on the morning of her death."
She also reportedly noted the "purple stuff" the night before she died, too.
Gestes and his wife reportedly shared differing stories while speaking with detectives. The warrant said, "Neither of their stories matched, even as far as what and where they ate lunch and dinner the day before."
The night before the 2-year-old was found dead, the mother reportedly went out to a bar, while Gestes took his kids to deliver food via DoorDash. Gestes reportedly returned home later with the children, then left the victim and her autistic sibling alone.
According to the warrant, the girl’s autopsy results came back as "undetermined," but there were no signs of asphyxiation or trauma. She reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, but that was ruled out as a cause of death.
The officer wrote in the warrant they believe "no reasonable and prudent person would leave an autistic, nonverbal 3-year-old child and a 2-year-old child alone in a home with horrible filth including spoiled food and dirty clothes, unsupervised for nearly three hours, especially at nighttime."
Gestes' bond is set at $200,000.
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