BELLFLOWER (CBSLA) – The search continued Wednesday night for the father of 8-month-old Alexia Rose Echeverria after her body was found behind a mortuary in Bellflower Monday.
As police searched for 22-year-old Alexander Echeverria, Alexia’s father, the Bellflower community held a vigil for baby Alexia.
“It’s very tragic…she’s innocent,” said Estie Rico Jones who planned the community vigil.
She told CBSLA’s Chris Holmstrom that within hours of planning the vigil, there was an outpouring of support.
“It helps to have support and just speak what’s in your heart, and if you need help get help, don’t keep it to yourself because there’s people that care and want to help,” said Jones.
Alexia’s mother, Karla Alvarado, could not attend the vigil but sent flowers as a “thank you” to those who were present.
A worker who was cleaning the grounds of a mortuary in the 10300 block of Alondra Boulevard found the body of the baby girl near a dumpster a little after 10:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).
Investigators believe the girl died in Sacramento, LASD reports. The investigation has now been handed over to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
LASD Sheriff’s Det. Steve Blagg told reporters Monday the infant was found “in a child’s car seat, car seat was upright, and had a blanket partially covering the baby.”
There was no visible sign of trauma, Blagg said. The coroner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Detectives are canvassing the area for surveillance video.
Alexia’s mother, Carla Alvarado, who lives with Echeverria, told reporters Tuesday that Echeverria said he was making a trip to San Francisco to pick up his brother. He later called Alvarado crying, but didn’t offer any additional details.
Alvarado says she then demanded that Echeverria return home with their daughter or she would call the police.
“He was never gonna be on his way, he just wanted to win some time to keep running,” Alvarado said.
Alvarado says a family member spoke with Echeverria before they disappeared and described what happened.
“He was playing with her, here in Sacramento, and he threw her in the air and she fell and she wasn’t waking up,” Alvarado said.
Alvarado said the Echeverria told that family member that he drove to the hospital first but instead decided to drive south — 400 miles away, where his mother lives.
According to Alvarado, Echeverria’s family lives close to where Alexia was found.