Philly mother abandons infant in drug-filled motel room, police say

Ericka Avila Lopez’ 7-month-old was alone in a Trevose motel room for 20 hours. Last year, Lopez allegedly tried to run over a police officer in a stolen Jeep.

Ericka Avila Lopez

A Philadelphia mother and suspected drug abuser abandoned her 7-month-old infant in a Trevose motel room for more than 20 hours before a maid discovered the unattended child on Sunday afternoon, Bucks County authorities say.

Bensalem Township police announced the arrest of arrested Ericka Avila Lopez, 34, on Monday afternoon. Earlier in the day, police said Avila Lopez was wanted for endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment, possession of a controlled substance and felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver.

According to authorities, Avila Lopez had rented a room at Knights Inn, 2707 Lincoln Highway, on Saturday. She allegedly left the room at about 4 p.m., but did not check out. On Sunday shortly after noon, a motel employee entered the unit to clean it and found Avila Lopez’ infant lying on the floor with narcotics and drug paraphernalia also in the room, Bensalem police said. The child appeared uninjured.

Bucks County social workers took the child to St. Mary’s Hospital for examination. Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services later took custody of the child.

Bensalem police did not say if anyone stayed with Avila Lopez or visited her at the motel. They did not disclose her last known address.

In a news release on Monday afternoon, Bensalem police stated that Avila Lopez had been found and was in police custody at a medical facility. The investigating agency did not disclose the nature of the suspect’s medical condition or details about her arrest. The agency said it would provide no further information about the case.

Court records in Philadelphia show two prior arrests for a 34-year-old Erica Lopez, alias Erika Avila. She reported a home address in the Frankford and Juniata area in 2015 and the Tacony area last year.

Avila Lopez is awaiting trial in an auto theft case from December 2015. She has also been ordered to stand trial on charges including auto theft, DUI, aggravated assault and fleeing police stemming from a second arrest last September. According to news reports and court records, the latter case occurred on Sept. 8 when Avila Lopez was driving a stolen Jeep on East Clearfield Street in Kensington when she charged a police car. When an officer leaped from the front passenger seat to avoid the crash, Avila Lopez allegedly drove onto a sidewalk towards him. The officer shot Avila Lopez in the hand.

Avila Lopez fled the scene but crashed the Jeep into concrete barriers several blocks away. She was treated for her injuries at Temple University Hospital then released into police custody. Avila Lopez would have been pregnant at the time with the child she allegedly abandoned last weekend.

Philadelphia court records also show an additional February 2014 arrest for a 34-year-old Erica A. Lopez. In that case, the defendant was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and disorderly conduct/fighting. The defendant was living in the Kensington area at the time. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.