Homedale resident Veronica T. Herrera is being held in the Owyhee County Jail on a charge of felony destruction of evidence after prosecutors say she burned the body of her 2-year-old daughter in a barrel last week.
Owyhee County Prosecutor Doug Emery filed the charge against the 29-year-old Herrera Monday afternoon.
The Homedale Police Department and Idaho State Police announced Sunday that they are investigating a suspicious death in Homedale, but have released little information on the case. Owyhee County Coroner Aaron Tines said late Sunday that he was notified Saturday of the possible death of a child.
It wasn't until Herrera was arrested Monday that some information on the case was released to the public.
Court records say the child was Herrera's daughter and that some time between Aug. 16 to 18, Herrera bought lighter fluid, placed the body of a child born on July 1, 2010, in a burn barrel, and lit it on fire "knowing the body was about to be discovered as a piece of evidence in a felony investigation."
Herrera told police her daughter jumped off a potty seat and hit her head on a heater last week an injury that Herrera said caused the child's death, according to court records. Herrera also told police she didn't tell anyone about what happened because she did not want to lose custody of her other children and that she burned the body of the toddler so no one could find it.
Homedale police began their investigation Saturday when Herrera walked up to a Nampa police officer and told him "that she did something bad, and that her child was hurt and that she made it worse," and that "we will never find the body," according to court documents.
Tines said he was sent to a house on Washington Avenue Sunday to investigate the case.
Tines said late Sunday the remains had been found at or near the house, but he declined to say where.
Emery said more charges were possible as law enforcement investigates the case. He said he charged Herrera with destruction of evidence Monday because that is what he had evidence to support at this point.
The crime of felony destruction of evidence is punishable by up to five years in prison.