Arrests made in horrendous sexual assault on 1-year-old girl

Isaac Andrew Cardenas (left) and Crystal Herrera (right). (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

“I’ve got seasoned detectives and emergency room personnel that have all agreed that this is one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen, if not the worst case they’ve ever seen,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a young child.

Sheriff Salazar held a news conference Tuesday afternoon concerning the case. Sheriff Salazar said deputies and emergency medical personnel were sent to a home on the Far South Side around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 after receiving a report that a child had been bitten by a dog. When they arrived, they were told by a man at the home that a girl who is under the age of 2 had wandered out of the home sometime during the night and been attacked by dogs.

Investigators questioned the man and a female relative of the child at the scene and discovered what they were being told was not consistent with the crime scene and the evidence. It was determined that the girl had suffered "extremely serious and life-threatening wounds consistent with a brutal sexual assault and multiple stab wounds."

“The child did suffer stab wounds to her upper body, but additionally to her private areas of her body,” explained Sheriff Salazar.

The child was immediately taken to University Hospital and is now in stable condition. Medical staff told Bexar County Sheriff's Office investigators the injuries were not consistent with dog bites, and it was determined the child was sexually assaulted and had sustained numerous “non-accidental” stab wounds to the intimate areas of her body.

"At this point the little girl’s injuries are quite severe,” said Sheriff Salazar. “There’s just no other way – I can’t even begin to describe to you the level of depravity that went into this crime.”

Workers with Bexar County Animal Control Services also picked up the dogs at the home and told investigators the dogs showed no signs of aggressiveness whatsoever.

Sheriff Salazar said based on the investigation, both the man and the female relative of the child were arrested.

"The two are in a romantic relationship," Sheriff Salazar said when asked if the two suspects are related.

The man has been identified as 23-year-old Isaac Andrew Cardenas. Cardenas has been charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child. His bond has been set at $300,000. The female relative has been identified as 22-year-old Crystal Herrera. Herrera has been charged with injury to a child serious bodily injury by omission.

“There are certain cases that we carry with us, that make us lose sleep at night. This is one of those cases,” said Sheriff Salazar.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Arrests made in horrendous child sexual assault case

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