Father of Port Arthur toddler seeks answers about her death; 1 suspect arrested

Published 12:40 am Saturday, July 8, 2023

Alexis Cabrera, 26, went to bed Monday night at his Houston home assuming his 1-year-old daughter was safe with her mother in Port Arthur.

Tuesday morning he was called and told Mariah had died on Sunday.

“I found out two days later that my daughter had passed,” he said. “I go crazy…I start asking questions because nothing was told to me. They just said they didn’t know what happened.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Cabrera said he was eventually able to speak with a member of the Port Arthur Police Department, who shed some insight into his daughter’s death.

“She had an injury to her head and carpet marks on her face,” he said. “(The PAPD officer) told me that my daughter was running around playing. It was late. The guy was playing video games and got upset.”

According to information from the office of Judge Joseph Guillory, Mariah’s preliminary autopsy report lists her cause of death as pending.

“I feel in my heart and soul, there’s something more to this,” Cabrera said.

Gonzalo Alvarado

Judge Ben Collins ordered an arrest warrant for Gonzalo Alvarado, 24.

As of Friday afternoon, the man remained in the Jefferson County Correctional on a charge of injury to a child with a $500,000 bond.

“He has connections and family in Mexico,” Collins said. “If he makes bail he will have to wear a GPS ankle monitor.”

Collins said the case has been turned over to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, and a grand jury can choose to indict Alvarado on homicide depending on the investigation and autopsy results.

Port Arthur Police Chief Tim Duriso said an elevated charge of homicide or manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary, would carry the same punishment as Alvarado’s current charge. All are first-degree felonies that can range from five years to life in prison.

Duriso said Alvarado did speak with detectives, but he is unsure whether or not the man gave a confession.

“We are not looking at charging the mother at this time,” Duriso said. “We do have (Child Protective Services) involved.”