Investigators seek body after woman claims she flushed unborn child down toilet, search of septic tank finds nothing, Sheriff says

Victoria Ochoa charged with tampering with evidence

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office has arrested a woman accused of tampering with the corpse of her own child, and investigators are still looking for the body, Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a woman accused of tampering with the corpse of her own child, and investigators are still looking for the body, Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

Salazar said on Dec. 12, Victoria Ochoa, 36, went to Southwest General Hospital for complaints about a hemorrhaging after having what she described a miscarriage of a child.

“Still had an umbilical cord attached to her body, as well as a placenta,” Salazar said.

Salazar said Ochoa told the hospital staff she had suffered the miscarriage while on a toilet.

“(Ochoa) described a very small baby that she claims – she had the miscarriage into the toilet, panicked and flushed the toilet and then went to the hospital after realizing she was losing so much blood,” Salazar said.

Salazar said the hospital staff member examined the umbilical cord and placenta and determined they belonged to a baby that was fully developed at 36 to 38 weeks.

“They believe the size of that baby would have been inconsistent with her story, would not have lent itself to be able to be flushed like that, like she described,” the sheriff said.

Staff members contacted police, and officers with the San Antonio Police Department interviewed the suspect.

When officers found out the incident happened outside of San Antonio, they contacted BCSO.

Salazar said Ochoa told BCSO investigators the same story she told hospital staff members.

“We were able to verify over the course of the next couple of days that the placenta and the umbilical cord just were not consistent with what she was describing,” he said. “That baby would have been way too big to be flushed in that condition.”

BCSO investigators obtained a warrant and went to Ochoa’s home. They pumped the contents of the property’s septic system, which was about upwards of 1,000 gallons of sewage, Salazar said.

“Our investigators actually sifted through these thousands of gallons of raw sewage in search of what we believed to be a baby,” he said.

Investigators did not find a body.

“It’s apparent to us that this suspect has tampered with evidence in this case, namely the body of this child. We believe that the baby is deceased, but we, of course, no longer believe her story about it having been flushed,” Salazar said.

Salazar said investigators believe Ochoa disposed of the baby some other way.

Ochoa is currently charged with tampering with evidence.

“Just when you think you’ve heard it all in law enforcement, a case like this comes along,” Salazar said.

There are other persons of interest related to the case. Salazar said he could not release their names at this time.

The sheriff said more charges are expected in the case.

Ochoa has four other children, but only one lived with her. Child Protective Services has taken custody of the child who was living with her.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-7867 or call BCSO at 210-335-6070.

About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.