San Antonio mother arrested after daughter, 6, dies of malnutrition and neglect, records show

Affidavit: Mother said she ‘would lock herself in her bedroom’ and let her kids do ‘whatever they wanted’

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman was arrested several months after the death of her 6-year-old daughter, who weighed only 31 pounds and had multiple illnesses, records with the Bexar County Jail show.

Stephanie Jimenez, 38, was taken into custody on Tuesday on a charge of injury to child-serious bodily injury by omission, according to records. Her bond is set at $200,000.

An arrest warrant affidavit states that officers responded to a call on Oct. 3 and found Jimenez’s daughter, Samantha, unresponsive. Paramedics pronounced her dead.

Jimenez told police that Samantha fell and hit her head, and then started to vomit afterward.

An officer noted in the affidavit that Samantha “appeared small and thin for her age.”

Samantha’s hair was also infested with lice and her skin had a buildup of dead skin residue due to lack of hygiene, the affidavit states.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office stated she died of malnutrition and neglect, and contributing factors were dehydration, kidney infection and pneumonia.

She was also positive for COVID-19 at the time of her death, authorities said. Samantha was eight days shy of her 7th birthday.

Jimenez, a mother of six children, said she didn’t seek treatment for her daughter because she “had no help.”

She told police that she “would lock herself in her bedroom and let her six children do whatever they wanted,” the affidavit states.

A warrant for her arrest was issued on Tuesday after a detective developed probable cause in the case, according to a San Antonio police report obtained by KSAT.

“Child death cases are complex in nature and require the assistance of the Medical Examiner for a ruling as to the manner and cause of death,” the SAPD public information office said in an email on Wednesday. “When presenting the case to District Attorney’s office, we are often only afforded one opportunity to obtain a conviction in a case. Therefore, investigations require detectives gather all available facts and evidence before presenting the case to the District Attorney’s Office in order to obtain justice for the victim’s and their families.”

Jimenez was previously arrested on two charges of injury to a child in 2012 and was on probation, records show.

The indictment in the 2012 case states that Jimenez caused injury to her daughter, who was 14 years old or younger at the time, by “failing to provide adequate nutrition” for the child.

Child Protective Services declined to comment.

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.