Jun 22, 2023

Woman didn't try to save baby after giving birth in gas station

Next up in 5

Example video title will go here for this video

HOUSTON — Court documents include disturbing new details about the woman who police said gave birth in a Houston gas station and left the baby in the toilet.

The newborn was found dead early the next morning by someone who was cleaning the restroom. They initially thought it was a doll left as a "disgusting prank" and told homicide detectives the baby appeared to be full-term and had hair.

Diana Guadalupe Zavala Lopez, 25, was captured in Brownsville on Tuesday where Houston police said she was trying to go to Mexico. She's charged with felony tampering with evidence - a human corpse.

They said Zavala Lopez admitted she gave birth in the toilet and didn't try to pull the baby girl out of the water, check for signs of life or perform CPR.

“It’s difficult and tragic, regardless of the case and how it goes out, it’s tragic it’s played out the way that it has,” HPD homicide detective Calab Bowling said on Monday.

On July 31, HPD released surveillance video of the woman seen at the Shell station on South Post Oak Rd. in southwest Houston just before 10 p.m. on April 1. The video appeared to show the woman was in the restroom for about 15 minutes before she walked out with blood on her legs, got into a white Cadillac ATS and drove away. Around 4:25 a.m. on April 2, the dead baby was found in the toilet.

After seeing the surveillance video, an FBI informant identified the woman as Zavala Lopez and provided a link to her Facebook page.

HPD homicide detectives said photos on the Facebook and Instagram accounts matched the woman in the video. Multiple photos showed her posing in front of an older white Cadillac ATS and the license plate matched the one seen in the video. Zavala Lopez was also seen in photos wearing the same necklace the woman in the video was wearing.

On Aug. 1, police discovered the Facebook page no longer existed. The name on the Instagram account had been changed. They believe Zavala Lopez made the changes after the surveillance video was released.

The tipster provided the address of an apartment complex where Zavala Lopez lived but said her Cadillac was at her mother and stepfather's home. Her parents told detectives that they didn't know she was pregnant until they started getting calls after the surveillance video came out and they realized it was their daughter.

The mother admitted she suspected her daughter was pregnant in February or March because she was sick and showing other symptoms but Zavala Lopez denied it.

RELATED: HPD wants to talk to woman seen in video after newborn found in Houston gas station bathroom

Zavala Lopez, a Mexican national, was found at the Brownsville bus station on Aug. 1 and taken into custody because she had overstayed her VISA.

The detectives traveled to Brownsville on Wednesday to interview Zavala Lopez. She told them she didn't know she was pregnant but started having pain and contractions while attending a party on April 1. She said she stopped at the Shell station to use the restroom and realized she was bleeding heavily.

She said she "felt something come out of her and go into the toilet" and flushed it without looking. Zavala Lopez eventually admitted she saw the infant face down in the toilet and didn't check to see if the baby was alive. She said she gave another push and used her hands to release the umbilical cord and placenta.

Zavala Lopez said she tried to wipe the blood off her legs and shoes and found a mop outside the restroom and tried to clean it before leaving. She found an article of clothing in her car and put it on the driver's seat before driving home.

The cause of the infant's death has not been revealed and police haven't said whether there will be additional charges.

RELATED: Woman arrested in Brownsville, accused of leaving baby in bathroom at Houston gas station

In Texas, if you have a newborn that you're unable to care for, you can bring your baby to a designated safe place with no questions asked. The Safe Haven law, also known as the Baby Moses law, gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place—a hospital, fire station, free-standing emergency centers or emergency medical services (EMS) station. Then, your baby will receive medical care and be placed with an emergency provider.

If you're thinking about bringing your baby to a designated Safe Haven, please read the information below:

If you leave your baby at a fire or EMS station, your baby may be taken to a hospital to receive any medical attention they need. Remember, If you leave your unharmed infant at a Safe Haven, you will not be prosecuted for abandonment or neglect.

KHOU 11 on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

RELATED: HPD wants to talk to woman seen in video after newborn found in Houston gas station bathroomRELATED: Woman arrested in Brownsville, accused of leaving baby in bathroom at Houston gas stationKHOU 11 on social media: