Police: Homedale mother burned toddler's body in barrel

HOMEDALE, Idaho (KBOI) - A Homedale woman has been arrested after prosecutors say she allegedly burned the body of a 2-year-old girl in a barrel.

The Owyhee County Prosecutor's Office says Veronica Herrera has been arrested for felony destruction of evidence.

Details of the alleged incident are graphic.

Homedale Police says Herrera went to the police station Saturday evening and started crying to an officer saying that she had done something bad and that they'd never be able to find the body.

According to the report, Veronica's 2-year-old daughter was going to the bathroom when the toddler became upset, fell and apparently hit her head on a heater, which was next to the toilet.

Police say Herrera later returned home after visiting her boyfriend's house and noticed the child was not breathing in her play pen and that's when she "freaked out." | Read the Police Report

"Veronica then continued to say that she did not want to lose her children about three times," the police report states.

The mother then allegedly took the girl's body and put in the back of her mini van. The following day, according to the report, Herrera walked to Paul's Market to purchase lighter fluid and later placed the body inside a barrel and set the body on fire sometime Thursday.

The woman then allegedly had the rest of her young children help add fuel to the fire, according to the report.

It's not completely known whether her children knew what they were doing, however, she told police that her 9-year-old son "may have known." | Photos From the Scene

Police say she returned to add fuel to barrel and continue burning the body on Friday and Saturday before later going to the police station to talk to the officer.

Herrera will remain in custody in the Owyhee County Jail. Her bond has been set at $500,000. She's also been ordered to have no contact with children under 18, including her own children.

"I don't know what to say," said Jake Pierce, a neighbor. "It's pretty disturbing. I guess you don't expect it to happen in your neighborhood."

Herrera's next scheduled visit is set for Aug. 27 at 1:30 p.m.