Harlingen man, 29, charged with capital murder

    More than a year after her death, 29-year-old Jorge Abundiz of Harlingen has been charged with the murder of Katalina Desiree Castaneda. (Photo Source: Harlingen Police Department)

    A Harlingen man has been charged with capital murder in connection with the death of a two-year-old girl.

    A grand jury indicted Jorge Abundez, 29, of Harlingen on capital murder last week, according to a news release from the Harlingen Police Department.

    On Tuesday, the Cameron County District Attorney's Office received notice that the indictment had been processed and began searching for Abudnez. According to Harlingen police, Abundez was found "hiding under a bed at his residence on South 3rd St."

    Abundez was transported to the Cameron County jail. Bond was set $1 million.

    Abundez's arrest comes months after a final autopsy report generated new leads into the death investigation of two-year-old Katalina Desiree Castaneda.

    On April 19, 2017, Harlingen police were dispatched to the 1800 block of South 3rd St. regarding an unresponsive child, according to the news release.

    Castaneda's mother, identified as Samantha Lee Gonzalez, reportedly called police after Castaneda fell down the stairs and became unresponsive. Castaneda was taken to a Harlingen hospital, where she died.

    An autopsy report at the time revealed Casteneda died due to "blunt force trauma to the abdomen," as CBS 4 News previously reported:

    A local doctor stated in the autopsy that Castaneda’s injuries were not caused by a fall from the stairs, and “that the only way Katalina could suffer such an injury was if Katalina was ‘punched, kicked, squeezed or stomped with great force to the abdomen,” according to the criminal complaint. The criminal complaint also stated that a bald spot was found on Castaneda’s head that doctors believe came from “someone pulling her hair repeatedly.”
    On April 25, doctors reported to police that “a ruptured liver and ruptured kidney had happened hours before the fall was reported”, according to the criminal complaint.

    In May 2017, Gonzalez was charged with criminal negligent homicide, a state jail felony.

    Based on the new information found in the final autopsy report, Cameron County District Attorney's Office investigators, along with the Harlingen Police Department Major Crimes Unit, identified Abundez as the "alleged person responsible for the death of the child."

    Police say Abundez, a registered sex offender, also faces additional charges for failing to register.

    Correction: The suspect's name is Jorge Abundez, not Abundiz.

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