PORT ISABEL, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Police reports obtained by ValleyCentral offered new details in the disappearance of a newborn baby, and the arrest of his two parents.
Zachary D. De La Rosa and Susanne J. Pierce were charged with injury to a child and admitted to authorities to playing a part in their newborn’s death. Pierce was also charged with abuse of a corpse.
A search for the newborn is ongoing with Cameron County Constable Precinct 1, Child Protective Services, Texas Rangers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Border Patrol canine unit contributing.
On March 16, a reporting party contacted authorities for a welfare concern for a newborn child.
According to an affidavit obtained by ValleyCentral, the reporting party was asked by De La Rosa’s mother to see if her son and wife were pregnant months prior. The reporting party was able to confirm that Pierce was indeed pregnant.
The reporting party then said they were contacted by De La Rosa last week to return some clothes belonging to a baby boy to Walmart. They questioned De La Rosa as to why the clothes needed to be returned, and De La Rosa told them his wife had a miscarriage. De La Rosa also told them that they held a private ceremony and that only two other people attended.
Friends close to the couple, a man and woman, were also contacted by the Cameron County Constable Office, according to the affidavit. The woman told authorities she was contacted by De La Rosa in a “panic voice” at 12 p.m. on March 8. De La Rosa told the woman that Pierce was bleeding because she was going to have a baby. The woman said she was unaware the couple were expecting and instructed him several times to call 911.
The woman said she received a second call from De La Rosa around 5 p.m. saying that the baby was born and it was a male.
The woman said she purchased clothes for the baby and delivered them to the couple, where she saw a healthy baby feeding from Pierce. The woman instructed them to take the baby to a doctor for a medical exam and Pierce told her she was planning on taking the baby, which they named Michael, to the Swiss embassy to obtain a Swiss birth certificate.
The woman said the following day she tried asking the couple on Facebook how the baby was doing, and they would “talk about other things.” The woman said she did receive a photo of the baby.
Later that day, De La Rosa wrote back to her and said the baby did not make it and had died.
On March 18, constables met with CPS investigators to follow up on a child custody case with De La Rosa and Pierce. Initially, the couple refused to open the door. After several attempts, they let the officers in where they saw Piece laying on a mattress in the living room next to eight puppies and two large dogs.
They also saw baby clothes and what appeared to be the same shoes the baby was wearing in the photo provided by the woman. Authorities asked De La Rosa where Michael was, to which he said he did not know a Michael.
Authorities followed up on the welfare concern for a newborn baby when they saw De La Rosa walking on the road. They asked him if he knew anything about a newborn baby, which he initially denied. Officers then showed him photos of the baby and De La Rosa said his name was “Malaki.”
De La Rosa then confirmed there was a newborn baby but said he wasn’t sure what Pierce had done with him. He said the baby had stopped breathing and he attempted to do CPR for two hours but was unsuccessful. He then said he passed out and when he woke up, Pierce and the baby were gone. He said Pierce did not return until the next morning and she did not have the baby.
De La Rosa stated that he felt it was his fault the baby died because he did not call EMS.
Officers made contact with Pierce who told them she took the dead baby and walked “all over the town,” including to the cemetery and old causeway to “see the dolphins and pelicans.” Pierce said she had the baby in a blue-colored blanket and had him under her shirt when she got stuck in the mud and passed out. She said when she woke up, the water started to rise and the baby was no longer with her.
The search for the body of the baby boy is still ongoing.