Hunt County toddler was victim of blunt force trauma

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on July 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 18 at 6:30 PM

Campbell, Texas

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CAMPBELL, Texas — There is shock and horror in Hunt County following the death of a two-year-old child.

It happened Sunday near Campbell, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas.

People who were caring for Brandon Herrera called 911 saying he had stopped breathing, but investigators said the child suffered massive blunt force trauma.

Investigators said this is one of the worst cases they've ever seen.

Brandon's caretakers are now facing charges in connection with the child's death.

Police said the toddler suffered incredible pain in his short life, which came to an end early Sunday morning at a rural Hunt County residence.

"This child was the victim of massive blunt force trauma," said Hunt County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Joe Knight.

Investigators aren't saying precisely how Brandon died, but they said it was clear that he suffered horribly.

"Let me just say that this is probably one of the most unnerving things that I've ever dealt with in my career," Hunt said. "This is bad. I'm not sure to what level you have to devalue a human being to treat it the way this child was treated."

Neighbor David King said the home had been vacant for years, but they recently noticed cars parked in the driveway and people going in and out.

"That's awful," he said. "It's disturbing that it's so close to home."

The two suspects — a man and a woman in their 20s — have only told police they were caring for a relative's child.

"I can tell you that their explanation of the series of events did not appear to ... line up with the evidence that we have," Chief Deputy Knight said.

The suspects in this case are being detained but have not yet been charged. Potential charges could include criminal negligent homicide or even capital murder.

Investigators said the couple had their own three-year-old child who was not harmed and is now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

On Monday evening, deputies were still trying to locate Brandon's parents, who may not yet know their child's fate.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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