A Redmond couple was charged with murder after authorities allege they withheld food and medical attention from their 5-year-old daughter.
Sacora Horn-Garcia, 31, and Estevan Garcia, 33, were indicted by a grand jury on charges of murder by abuse, manslaughter and criminal mistreatment in the death of Maliyha Hope Garcia. They were arrested Thursday afternoon and booked into the Deschutes County jail.
Garcia is the girl’s father and Horn-Garcia is her stepmother. They were married in 2014.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said the grand jury was presented with several pieces of evidence, the largest being a lack of food provided to the child. Hummel declined to identify the girl, but an obituary published in The Bulletin identifies her as Maliyha Hope Garcia.
Horn-Garcia set up a GoFundMe account following Maliyha’s death seeking money for funeral expenses. The account was advertised in the obituary. It sought $5,000, but raised $2,396 through 42 donations. The GoFundMe states Maliyha died of unknown causes, and was “a life lost way to soon.”
According to charging documents, Maliyha died due to neglect, maltreatment and an extreme indifference to life on the behalf of Garcia and Horn-Garcia. The documents also allege the parents intentionally withheld adequate food from Maliyha. It also says they withheld necessary medical attention. Law enforcement officials were alerted to the situation on Dec. 21, when a 911 call reported the girl was unconscious and not breathing. First responders attempted life-saving measures on-scene before she was transported to St. Charles Redmond, where she was pronounced dead, according to a news release. An autopsy was done the next day, the release said.
Hummel said the couple have other children, but declined to say how many and what has happened to them following the arrest of the parents. According to the obituary, the couple has nine other children, but it is not clear how many were under their care.
Neither Garcia or Horn-Garcia have a previous criminal history in Oregon, though Garcia has been taken to collections and court-ordered to pay debts of $2,875 and $545.
The couple is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
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