Estevan Garcia, 34, and Sacora Horn-Garcia, 31, are the two parents of a 5-year-old girl, whom they abused and starved, leaving emaciated and weighing 24 pounds. They are now in jail, after police tore into the home and found the child, unfortunately too late.
They are being charged with child abuse and murder. Though one of the parents finally eventually did call in paramedics, when they noticed the girl was lethargic and not moving. She died of starvation before paramedics could rescue her.
Due to a gag order on the case, considering the girl’s young age, lawyers have declined to speak. However, one source said that by the time the girl was found, “every one of her ribs was visible.”
The Daily Mail reports:
Attorneys for both have declined to speak about the case, citing a gag order imposed shortly after the arrest by Deschutes County Circuit Judge Beth Bagley.
In his report, a Redmond police officer noted that every one of the girl’s ribs was visible.
‘Arms and legs looked like bones with skin hanging on them,’ he wrote.
An autopsy, performed the next day, ruled that Maliyha died of emaciation.
Garcia adopted his niece Maliyha when she was three months old. She was born with methamphetamine in her system, and her mother immediately lost custody. Horn-Garcia is the girl’s stepmother.
ccording to court documents, investigators found a long trail of abuse.
Witnesses reported that the couple routinely withheld food from Maliyha as a form of punishment and that her bedroom was rigged with an alarm that would go off if she sneaked out at night to get food, according to court documents.
Horn-Garcia told police that Maliyha wasn’t eating because of the illness.
But prosecutors allege that the girl showed signs of prolonged malnourishment, including a distended stomach and muscle wasting.
Witnesses said that the couple forced the girl to eat salad, crackers and apples for dinner while everyone else in the home ate pizza and Panda Express meals, according to Oregon Live.
She was forced to take cold showers and endured spankings if she didn’t talk or played with blocks, an affidavit said.
She wasn’t allowed to play with other children during parties or on a camping trip, during which she was kept away from a group warming themselves by a fire after going swimming.
‘Suffice it to say, she went through hell,’ said Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel while announced the couple’s indictment.
None of the other children who lived with the couple appeared malnourished, according to the affidavit.