Amber alert issued for missing Houston baby after mother stabbed to death

Shamali Flores
Shamali Flores

HOUSTON – The search for a missing 6-week-old girl is still underway after her mother was found stabbed to death at an apartment complex in Greenspoint, according to Houston police.

Investigators at first believed the infant, Shamali Flores, was with her father, Thomas Bernardez, but when they located him in San Antonio, they said the baby was not with him.

WATCH: Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo offers updates on missing child in Greenspoint

During an update on Wednesday, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said investigators believe Shamali was abducted by a person who is familiar with the Greenspoint area and the Flores family.

Acevedo also said investigators believe the baby may have been taken by a woman who is acting like she is the child's mother.

He made a plea to the public for anyone with information to come forward.

Family members said the body of Carolina Flores, the baby's mother, was found between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday inside her home at the Magnolia Cove Apartments in the 100 block of Goodson Drive. She suffered multiple stab wounds, and her baby was missing, police said.

An Amber Alert for Shamali went out about four hours later.

Investigators returned to the murder scene on Wednesday morning to gather clues. They canvassed the entire apartment complex, including the dumpsters. 

Investigators knocked on doors to try to talk to neighbors.

Relatives said Flores' 17-year-old nephew found her dead and called for help. They said Flores' two other children, her niece and nephew who live with her, were in CPS custody.

Police said Bernardez, who is from Honduras, is listed as a person of interest in Flores' stabbing, though he is not facing any charges. 

Who is Carolina Flores?

Flores' family said she moved to the United States about five years ago from Honduras for a better life.

"She was very kind, lovable. She was just a person that she was the light in the room. Oh, Carolina, and for this to happen is just -- I just wish it didn't happen," Jenny Lopez, a close cousin of Flores, said.

She said Flores has two other children, ages 7 and 17, and was also taking care of a teenage niece and nephew.

"She had just had the baby. We had talked, she had just called me Sunday to check on me, and I could hear it in her voice that it wasn't her, but I didn't ask no questions. I didn't think anything was wrong," Lopez said.

Lopez said she doesn't know Bernardez and that her cousin never spoke of the child's father.

While the family is trying to cope with Flores' death, they are also worried for her child.

"That's what's really bothering me, that's what's really eating me up alive because the baby is missing. The baby is only 6 weeks old," Lopez said. "She just had the baby, and for this to happen, I just really hope they find the baby and find him as well and he get what he deserves."

Anyone with information on Shamali's whereabouts is asked to contact the Houston Police Department at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.