Boyfriend charged with capital murder after death of infant stuffed in backpack

Family mourns child stuffed in backpack, trapped in trunk

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder and is being held on a $2 million bond after he told police he stuffed a 10-month-old child into a backpack and left her in the trunk of his vehicle for more than five hours on Tuesday.

According to the Lubbock Police Department, 27-year-old Trevor Rowe picked up the child at his home Tuesday morning. Rowe and the child’s mother live together. Rowe is the mother’s boyfriend and is not the father of the child.

The arrest warrant says Rowe picked up 10-month-old Marion Rebecca Jester-Montoya and took her to his job site. Before leaving his vehicle at work, he stuffed the child into a backpack and left her in the front passenger seat floorboard for several hours.

When he checked on the child later, he found she got out of the backpack. So he put her back inside the backpack and continued to check on her periodically.

A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder, thought to be responsible for the death of 10-month-old Marion Reebecca Montoya by stuffing her in a backpack and leaving her in the trunk of a vehicle.
A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder, thought to be responsible for the death of 10-month-old Marion Reebecca Montoya by stuffing her in a backpack and leaving her in the trunk of a vehicle. (Source: Katrina Montoya)

Around lunchtime, he checked on the child again and saw she was still breathing but crying and zipped up the backpack, before getting fast food. After lunch, he then put the child — still zipped in the backpack —in his trunk.

The child was left in the trunk for more than five hours, as the temperatures in the car got higher.

During the last check on the child around 5 p.m., he realized she was not breathing. Police say he then drove to 130th and Upland Avenue where he stopped and called 911. That is when he started CPR on the child, according to what he told police.

A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder, thought to be responsible for the death of 10-month-old Marion Reebecca Montoya by stuffing her in a backpack and leaving her in the trunk of a vehicle.
A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder, thought to be responsible for the death of 10-month-old Marion Reebecca Montoya by stuffing her in a backpack and leaving her in the trunk of a vehicle. (Source: Katrina Montoya)

After paramedics arrived, they took the child to University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Rowe was taken into custody after telling police he stuffed the child in the backpack and left her in the trunk. He was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

“We planned to vacation to Disney World, which is never going to happen. We were planning her first birthday and it was going to be Minnie Mouse. We found the dress we were getting for her," said Sheilah Montoya, the grandmother. “The ultimate outcome of it was that now the baby that was our world is now gone."

Family members of Marion have set up a fundraiser to help with funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.

A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder, thought to be responsible for the death of 10-month-old Marion Reebecca Montoya by stuffing her in a backpack and leaving her in the trunk of a vehicle.
A Lubbock man has been charged with capital murder, thought to be responsible for the death of 10-month-old Marion Reebecca Montoya by stuffing her in a backpack and leaving her in the trunk of a vehicle. (Source: Katrina Montoya)

According to court documents, Rowe was arrested in 2018 after being accused of leaving two children unattended in a home. The police report says the two children were his. The police report says CPS was called, but were not able to locate anyone to respond to the house. He told police the children were sleeping and he left to get them something to eat. He left on a bicycle and told police he was gone for about 30 minutes. Court records show the case was closed “in the interest of justice.” Rowe was never officially charged with the crime.

This story will be updated if more information becomes available.

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