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A Texas man allegedly killed his 2-year-old daughter while he was on FaceTime with the child’s mother amidst a police chase, according to authorities.
On Monday, Deontray Flanagan, 25, picked up his daughter Zevaya from her daycare, KRPC 2 reports, citing court documents.
Texas Dad Allegedly Strangled 2-Year-Old Daughter During Police Chase, FaceTime Call With Girl’s Mother
Flanagan reportedly took the girl to Walmart where her mother, identified by ABC 13 as Kairsten Watson, worked. There, he demanded the mom hand over her cell phone.
After she gave him the phone, he reportedly struck her several times before fleeing by car with Zevaya, with authorities not far behind in a police pursuit. Zevaya’s mother, eventually contacted Flanagan on FaceTime with Zevaya’s grandmother’s phone, who happened to be working a Walmart at the time as well, according to the outlet.
Flanagan reportedly then lashed out at Watson after asking her for her cellphone password, which he didn’t receive.
Court documents claim that Flanagan then began striking and choking Zevaya as Watson looked on helplessly in horror as the attack precipitated, KRPC 2 reports.
Flanagan eventually ended the call with Watson before calling his stepfather, telling him the girl “was gone.”
Deontray Flanagan 25-years-old is charged with murder in the death of his 2-year-old daughter. Sheriff Gonzalez says he threatened to harm the child if mom didn’t hand over phone and passcode. When she did he took the child on a high speed chase. @FOX26Houston pic.twitter.com/hxG5khhBUo
— Gabby Hart (@GabbyHartNews) March 20, 2023
Police Pursuit Lasted 45 Minutes, Suspect Charged With Murder, Held On $2 Million Bail
The pursuit, which lasted for 45 minutes, ended in Flanagan’s arrest, per KFYR-TV. Meanwhile, Zevaya was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Flanagan has since been charged with murder and remains held on a $2 million bail. As of Friday, it was unclear whether he had entered in a plea or retained a lawyer.
“She worshipped him.” 2 y/o Zevaya Flanagan’s mom can’t process what her last moments were like. Dad Deontray Flanagan is charged w/killing toddler during pursuit + allegedly FaceTiming assault. Family + what happened today in court: @KHOU at 4,5,6 #khou11 pic.twitter.com/AvsjiVGNo3
— Jason Miles (@JMilesKHOU) March 22, 2023
RELATED: Fetty Wap Arrested After Allegedly Pointing Gun, Threatening To Kill “Rat” Over FaceTime While On Bond For Drug Trafficking Charges
Girl’s Mother Told Authorities About Suspect’s Previous Threats: “They Didn’t Believe Me”
Watson told ABC 13 that the two had many issues in the past, and rhetorically asked “are ya’ll going to wait until something (bad) happens to (Zevaya)?”
“I told [the authorities] over and over and over that something was going to be wrong,” Watson said, ABC 13 reports. “They could have at least tried to find him, but even with his past, no. I said, ‘Are y’all going to wait until something happens to her?’”
She went on to say she showed authorities several messages where Flanagan had threatened to hurt the child, but added “they didn’t believe me.”
“They didn’t believe me,” Watson said. “They thought I was just making this up, and he was the father.”
The mother told Fox Houston that Zevaya was a happy baby who loved going to church.
GoFundMe Set Up For Zevaya’s Funeral Expenses, Aunt Calls Her Father “An Evil Person”
Zevaya’s aunt, Kaci Watson, also spoke to ABC 13 about her niece, recalling the horror the girl must have felt when her own father began to kill her.
“She was probably just thinking, ‘Why?’ Like, ‘Dad, what did I do?’” Kaci Watson told the outlet. “And she didn’t do anything. She didn’t do anything but love him and be a joy to the world, and he’s just an evil person.”
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been created to help with Zevaya’s funeral expenses. The fundraiser has already raised $4,412 out of a $12,000 goal as of Friday. Those interested in donating can do so here.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.