WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The father of a 2-year-old who was diagnosed with possible autism and was found wandering in a street pleads guilty to child endangerment.
David Estrada made the plea in 78th District Court today, February 3. His plea deal is for 224 days in jail, which he has already served since his rearrest on that charge and a new charge of burglary in Clay County.
The mother of the boy is also charged with endangerment, and her case is pending.
When police arrived in October 2020 to check a report that a child wearing a saggy diaper was in the road on Lindale Drive near Southwest Parkway, they say Estrada and Molly Neal ran out of their house yelling, “Is that our baby?”
They told officers their son had “escaped” and they had been looking everywhere for him, and claimed he had only been missing two to three minutes.
But the neighbor who found the child said she had him in her house for about 30 minutes before calling the police.
She also told officers the boy had been found alone in the street multiple times in the past week and that the parents never seemed concerned unless the police showed up.
Officers said the parents seemed more concerned about their CPS case and kept saying they needed to speak with their lawyer.
They said Estrada told them his son likes to go to neighbors’ homes and knock on the doors.
An officer who followed up on the case said the house had no electricity.
Police contacted CPS and were told the parents had an open case involving their son.
Arrest records show Estrada has 15 arrests with six drug-related charges and Neal has six arrests, with nine drug-related charges.