A 2-year-old girl lost her life on Monday following a series of events involving her father, who forcibly removed her from daycare, assaulted her mother at her workplace, and led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit, as stated by Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
The father, 25-year-old Deontray Flanagan, has a history of arrests for two separate assault charges, according to court records. Sheriff Gonzalez reported that Flanagan arrived at his daughter’s daycare center before 10 a.m., and took the child away. It remains unclear whether Flanagan had the authority to do so.
Flanagan then confronted the child’s mother at her workplace, demanding her phone and threatening to harm their daughter if she did not comply. Throughout the incident, Flanagan held the child in his arms. The mother attempted to retrieve her daughter, but Flanagan struck her multiple times in the face before fleeing the scene with the child and the mother’s phone.
After deputies were informed of the situation, they immediately began tracking the woman’s phone and collaborating with other agencies to locate Flanagan and the 2-year-old girl. Soon after, Flanagan’s vehicle was spotted near Greens Road and the North Freeway. He refused to pull over, leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a chase that ultimately concluded near a church on Stuebner Airline Road near FM 1960.
Despite the chase ending, Flanagan refused to exit the vehicle. The 2-year-old was still in his car. A negotiator made contact with Flanagan and discovered that the child was unresponsive.
Law enforcement used a distraction device to remove Flanagan and the injured child from the car.
Flanagan was arrested, and the 2-year-old received immediate CPR until Life Flight arrived. Tragically, the child later succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. Sheriff Gonzalez suggested that the child may have been injured by being violently thrown around inside the vehicle and had sustained bodily trauma.
Investigators are currently examining the relationship between Flanagan and the child’s mother to determine whether they were ever married or recently separated.
Flanagan is now facing several charges related to this tragic incident.