ORANGE, Texas (AP) – A Southeast Texas man accused of bludgeoning his 2-year-old daughter to death with a hammer was naked and blood-stained when he told police officers he had killed the toddler, according to an affidavit.
An officer’s body camera captured 26-year-old Yovahnis Roque confessing Tuesday in the death of his child at their home in Orange, near the Louisiana border, according to the police affidavit. Roque was arrested and charged with capital murder .
Roque lived with his mother at the house and it was she who found the girl’s body and called police.
Officers found Roque “completely covered in blood” and discovered the girl’s body in a closet, the affidavit says. Orange police Capt. Robert Enmon has described it as the most horrific crime he’s dealt with in his 29-year career, calling it “the crime scene of nightmares.”
In court Wednesday, a judge was explaining the capital murder charge when Roque exclaimed: “The government made me do it.”
He was ordered to be held on $2 million bond in the Orange County jail. Online jail records don’t show whether he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Enmon said Thursday that authorities investigated a disturbance at the house several months earlier, but that the call didn’t appear to involve the child.
Roque and the child previously lived in Florida.
A friend of the suspect, Abner Santiago, told the Beaumont Enterprise that he received a series of messages from Roque on Tuesday, including one in which he told his friend to start digging because there was going to be “an all-out war.”
“He was messaging me weird coded messages about the world ending,” Santiago said. “He wasn’t like this before when I knew him back in Miami.”
The girl was just weeks old in 2016 when her mother, Rachel Foster, was struck and killed by an impaired driver, according to WTVJ-TV in Miami-Dade County. Roque was seriously injured in the wreck.
Foster’s mother, Delia Foster, told the station that the death of her daughter, and now the killing of her granddaughter, brings “a complete emptiness. And it’s just so gloomy and so devastating.”