Woman guilty in baby death case

Sarah Sifuentes faced injury to a child charges

Author: Ryan Loyd, Reporter, rloyd@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 31 2012 04:54:00 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 02 2012 10:13:17 AM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

A San Antonio woman who was caring for her imprisoned friend’s 2-year-old daughter was found guilty of injury to a child by omission charges in the death of that little girl.

Cyleste Gonzales died from severe abdominal injuries, investigators said.

During 35-year-old Sarah Sifuentes’ trial, the jury viewed photographs of the child covered with bruises.

And, according to doctors, she also had a healing broken arm.

Sifuentes denied injuring the child and said she had no idea of how the child was injured.

Jurors began deliberating the case at noon on Friday. It took less than eight hours to render a decision.

Following the trial, the girl's father, Juan Gonzales, said he doesn't have expectations for the upcoming sentencing phase that begins on Tuesday.

"I just wanted the truth to come out," he said. "I needed to know what really happened to her being that we weren't there."

Sifuentes faces up to life in prison, but she is eligible for parole.

But Gonzales says the conviction is at least the start of the healing process.

"I'm pretty glad about it," he said. "I mean, God is good."

Outside the courtroom, Gonzales looked over pictures of his daughter, which he kept in an envelope.

"She was so young," he said.

He said he thought Sifuentes was a good friend. He believed he could trust her.

Gonzales says his other child, a young son, has started school and is happy.