Soon-to-be ex-husband defends woman accused of abandoning baby

Woman reported being a victim of sex trafficking

SAN ANTONIO – The estranged husband of a woman who is accused of leaving their toddler with a stranger and then leaving town says San Antonio police have the story all wrong.

Dominic, who KSAT is only identifying by his first name, is speaking out after the arrest of his soon-to-be ex-wife.

The woman was charged Wednesday with abandoning a child.

An arrest warrant affidavit, written by police investigators, says the woman disappeared with the couple’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter several months ago, then left the child with a stranger and boarded a bus for St. Louis.

The affidavit does not specify where the child was the whole time. However, it mentions that she suddenly was returned to her father by someone who the family did not know.

Dominic says despite the way things look, the affidavit does not tell the whole story.

“She was being held against her will and had my daughter taken away from her by a ring of these people,” he said. “They were using my daughter as a hostage to keep my wife in submission.”

By these people, Dominic said he was referring to a group of people, including a woman who his estranged wife met online soon after they broke up.

He said the woman initially made promises to the mother, but then she and others forced her into a life she did not want.

“She was being sized up and groomed,” he said. “She said she was moved to Austin. She said she had to be moved to California for a month and a half, and then Kansas City.”

While she was in St. Louis, Dominic said, the mother finally got the nerve to go to police for help.

He said she then was turned over to San Antonio police and brought back to town, where she was charged.

A police investigator in a St. Louis suburb confirmed to KSAT that the mother reported being a victim of sex trafficking. Because KSAT’s policy is to not identify victims of sex trafficking, information that could identify her has been removed from this story.

Meanwhile, he says, a stranger suddenly showed up at his home a few weeks ago and handed over his missing daughter.

Dominic thought the worst would be behind him once he had the child back in his arms.

However, he said, the criminal charges against his soon-to-be ex hit him by surprise. He believes they are not warranted.

“She’s not a bad mom, by no means,” he said. “She had my daughter attached to her hip all the time.”

Although he does not see a future for the mother and him as a couple, Dominic says he would like to see her continue to be a mother to their daughter.

KSAT 12 News reached out to the San Antonio Police Department for comment on the allegations in this story. A spokesman, though, said they could not comment on the story because it involves a child.

We also called police in a suburb of St. Louis, called Bridgeton, who said when they found her in their city, she did tell them she was a victim of sex trafficking. However, SAPD advised them that she was a wanted person and should be arrested.

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.