SAN ANTONIO — The aunt of D'Lanny Chairez, who was arrested this week in her 1-year-old son James' disappearance, shared video of an encounter between the two women, in which Chairez is heard saying the toddler had been adopted.
Mariesol Gomez told KENS 5 she went to her niece's home around the time of February's winter storm. Chairez did not open the door and later texted to ask if they could talk the following day. Gomez picked up Chairez the following day and recorded the following conversation on her phone:
MARIESOL GOMEZ: So why the drive and not just talk at the house?
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: I do better thinking when the car's moving.
MARISOL GOMEZ: Thinking of what? Where's James?
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: (Undecipherable). We put him up for adoption.
MARIESOL GOMEZ: No, D'Lanny...
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: Yes, I did. ... Mari, I can't...
MARIESOL GOMEZ: D'Lanny, why didn't you let me have him?
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: No, I'm sorry, but...
MARIESOL GOMEZ: What is wrong?
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: Nothing's wrong, it's just I can't... I can't...
MARIESOL GOMEZ: It's not right, D'Lanny.
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: It's alright, but he's fine. He's in a house.
MARISOL GOMEZ: No, don't...
D'LANNY CHAIREZ: I'm sorry but I'm... when he's with you he's still.....
Gomez described the video to KENS 5 following her niece's arrest.
"I asked her right away, ‘Where's James? Where is he?,’” Gomez recalled. "She just breathes, and she's like, 'I gave him up for adoption.' And I mean, I'm hysterical, I'm crying, I'm trying to understand why, I'm asking her, 'Why? Why?' And she just said she tried and she didn't want James to live the kind of life that she would have been living.”
Gomez said Chairez claimed she gave the baby to a couple she had known for approximately two years. Gomez said she pleaded with Chairez to get the baby back, but when Chairez said she wasn’t able, Gomez then asked for proof of the adoption.
Chairez was arrested Monday on a charge of abandoning James. An affidavit for her arrest detailed how Chairez told investigators she wanted to give her child up for adoption because she wasn’t ready to be a mother. However, court documents state she was silent about any information on her son’s whereabouts.
According to court records, Chairez told a variation of stories about her son’s whereabouts since Thanksgiving. Gomez told KENS 5 she had repeatedly asked to see James but was given a variety of reasons she couldn't, such as the child being with friends or family or sleeping.
The affidavit also describes how police discovered blood on his crib sheet.
Gomez said based on the inconsistencies in Chairez’s story and the bloody blanket, she fears the baby is dead.
“I mean, as hard as it is, I don't think (he’s alive), because everything she says has been a lie,” Gomez told KENS 5.
The search for James is ongoing. Anyone who may have information on James’ whereabouts is urged to call SAPD.