Document: Mom and man caused daughter’s death

Four years after the death of her 2-year-old daughter, a 32-year-old Harlingen mom has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

Samantha Ann Gonzalez, along with Jorge Michael Abundez Jr., 33, were each indicted on a capital murder charge by a Cameron County grand jury on Sept. 15.

According to the indictment, on our about April 19, 2017, Gonzalez and Abundez caused the death of Katalina Castaneda, 2, by blunt force abdominal trauma.

This was the second time Abundez had been indicted in the case. He was originally indicted on June 27, 2018 on a charge of causing blunt force abdominal trauma by a manner and means unknown. His Sept. 15 indictment supersedes his 2018 indictment, authorities said.

Gonzalez and Abundez appeared Monday before 404th state District Judge Ricardo M. Adobbati where they were formally arraigned on the charge. According to court proceedings, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office will not seek the death penalty in the case.

Gonzalez remains in custody at a Cameron County jail. Cameron County jail records also indicate that Abundez remains in custody as well.

A status hearing on Gonzalez’s and Abundez’s case is scheduled for Nov. 3.

According to a Harlingen Police Department press release, police on April 19, 2017 were called to a residence on the 1800 block of South 3rd Street in reference to an unresponsive child.

The initial information that was provided indicated the toddler had fallen down the stairs, police said.

Castaneda was transported to the hospital by EMS, where she later died.

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