May 21, 2024

A 22-year-old Fort Worth man was arrested this week and accused of killing his infant daughter last year.

Heron Gonzalez Jr. faces a charge of capital murder of a person under 10 years old, according to police records.

Aracely Estella Gonzalez was just 48 days old when she died in the intensive care unit at Cook Children’s Medical Center on Aug. 10, 2022. Her death from blunt force injuries was ruled a homicide by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Heron Gonzalez called 911 the afternoon of Aug. 10 and told the dispatcher his daughter was unresponsive, according to an affidavit supporting a search warrant issued 12 days after the baby’s death.

Gonzalez told police he was taking care of Aracely and his 2-year-old stepson while their mother was at work. He said he laid Aracely down for a nap and went to play with his stepson in the other room. When he went back to check on the infant, he discovered she had changed color and was unconscious, he told police.

Gonzalez said he panicked and started performing CPR on the baby. The search warrant states he told police “that he had not harmed Aracely in any way,” but could not account for her injuries, which included acute cerebral hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, multiple rib fractures, bruises to the chest and liver laceration.

Aracely’s mother, Angelica Soto, told investigators she was worried Gonzalez “would get too frustrated or anxious caring for Aracely,” according to the search warrant. Her husband had never been violent with the baby, Soto told police, but she said he was struggling to cope with their daughter’s crying and would sometimes become “enraged” if he was interrupted while playing video games.

Soto said she sent Gonzalez messages during the day reminding him to go outside and smoke if he needed to calm down or just walk away for a while. Gonzalez told Soto not to worry and sent her photos of Aracely, police said. Shortly after 3:30 p.m. he called Soto to tell her something was wrong and he texted her about three minutes later asking if he should call 911, according to a copy of Gonzalez’s arrest warrant obtained by the Star-Telegram.

Police issued the search warrant on Aug. 22, 2022, and seized the cellphones of both Gonzalez and Soto. They also seized a gaming computer and Xbox from the apartment to determine if Gonzalez had been involved in an active gaming session around the time Aracely was injured.

In July the case was reassigned to another detective for further investigation. The detective reviewed Gonzalez’s phone log and found internet searches for performing CPR on a baby starting around 3:24 p.m. the day of Aracely’s death. Immediately after calling Soto to let her know something was wrong with the infant, Gonzalez called another number and didn’t call 911 until nearly 3:40 p.m., the arrest warrant states.

The detective also talked with Soto and reviewed the photos of Aracely taken just hours before her death. The baby appeared normal and healthy in the photos, according to the arrest warrant.

“Aracely went from good condition to needing medical assistance while in Heron’s care,” the arrest warrant states. The detective also expressed his concern over the time it took Gonzalez to call 911.

Police arrested Gonzalez on Thursday and he was booked into the Fort Worth Jail shortly before 2 p.m., according to police records. On Friday, he was in the Tarrant County Jail with bond set at $400,000.

In a separate case, Gonzalez was charged in February with assaulting Soto. He was indicted by a grand jury in July on a charge of continuous family violence, according to court records.

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