FORT WORTH, Texas – On July 27, Detective Perry had a Capital Murder warrant signed for both Reyna Marie Sanchez and Shannon Gray for the death of 4 year old Stetson Blackburn. They were arrested on July 31- Gray was arrested by Tennessee authorities; Sanchez was arrested by the Ft. Worth Police Department fugitive unit. Shannon Gray, 23, and her girlfriend Reyna Marie Sanchez, 24, each face a capital murder charge in connection with the death of Gray’s son.
On March 19, 2020, at approximately 4:35 p.m., Fort Worth Police officers responded to a medical call at 3313 Bonaventure Blvd. S. The details indicated a 4-year-old boy was not breathing and was unresponsive.
The child, Stetson Blackburn, was transported to Cook Children’s Medical Center and was pronounced deceased two days later after being declared brain dead.
The initial investigation by patrol officers identified the mother of Stetson as Shannon Gray and her girlfriend Reyna Marie Sanchez as the primary caregivers. FWPD Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) detectives responded to the hospital and the offense location on March 19, 2020.
The investigation revealed the following details:
On March 19 around 3:30 p.m., Sanchez said she put Stetson and his brother down for a nap, and two minutes later, Stetson was gasping for air. Sanchez described that Stetson had vomit, food, and blood coming from his nose and mouth. She put him in the shower, and when he became unresponsive, she started performing CPR. Sanchez called Gray to come home. It was after Gray returned home that 911 was called.
CACU detectives did an exhaustive investigation. Two search warrants were executed at the offense location, in addition to canvasing the trailer park for witnesses. Five search warrants were executed for cell phone records and social media accounts. Multiple interviews were conducted with the suspects, Medstar, Fort Worth Fire Department, patrol officers, Child Protective Services (CPS), family members, friends and co-workers of Sanchez and Gray, medical personnel, and the Medical Examiner’s office.
Sanchez Admitted To Physically Abusing The Child
Sanchez admitted that on the night before Stetson became unresponsive she kicked Stetson in the ribs because he was only drying off in one spot after taking a shower. Sanchez said she kicked Stetson in the stomach three times as hard as she could, actually hurting her big toe from kicking him so hard. Sanchez admitted to previous physical abuse before this incident. She gave an example of lifting him up off the ground by his neck.
The doctors from Cook Children’s Medical Center described Stetson’s injuries as cardiac arrest, acute respiratory failure, a subdural hematoma, and a traumatic brain injury. Stetson was declared brain dead. Stetson was able to help others in death as several of his organs were donated though Lifegift.
Throughout the investigation, investigators have been in communication with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office regularly.