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Frankie's mom sits in jail cell alone for her safety, officials say

Laura Sanchez told police she last saw her son, Frankie Gonzales, early Monday afternoon in the...
Laura Sanchez told police she last saw her son, Frankie Gonzales, early Monday afternoon in the area of the restrooms near the splash pad in the Pecan Bottoms area of Cameron Park. She was charged Tuesday after the boy's body was found in a dumpster. (Law enforcement photos)(KWTX)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 12:39 AM CDT
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The mother of a Waco boy whose body was found in a church dumpster has been placed in protective custody while behind bars.

Laura Sanchez, also known as Laura Villalon, 35, of Waco, remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of a $500,000 bond, which family members tell KWTX they are unwilling to help her pay.

Due to the nature of the crime and her case being 'high profile', Sanchez is being housed alone in a jail cell at the Jack Harwell Detention Center for her own safety, jail officials told KWTX Tuesday.

Frankie Gonzales was found in a dumpster June 2 following a frantic search his mother ignited the day before saying her son went missing in Cameron Park.

Sanchez is charged with injury to a child in connection with her two-year-old son's death.

However, new, more serious charges could be added.

Tom Needham, spokesman for the McLennan County District Attorney's Office, told KWTX Tuesday they are holding off on presenting Sanchez' case to a grand jury until they receive the initial autopsy report back from the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office--that document will show the cause/manner of death, and if it's homicide, Needham said, Sanchez would likely be facing enhanced charges.

Gonzales was pronounced dead by McLennan County Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley who, subsequently, ordered an autopsy.

Her office staff said Tuesday they had not yet receive a cause/manner of death, only an email which said the results were "still pending."