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Sheriff James R. Metts

Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Homicide By Child Abuse Investigation

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives in cooperation with the Lexington County Coroner’s Office on Thursday, September 12 arrested a 33-year-old West Columbia man and his 42-year-old wife on charges that their 13-month-old daughter died as a result of chronic malnutrition and dehydration that occurred under circumstances that manifested an extreme indifference to human life through lethal neglect of the 13-month-old girl by the man and his wife.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives arrested Filiberto Garcia, 33, and Garcia’s wife, Tracy Roach, 42, both of 4959 Edmund Highway, West Columbia, on a charge of homicide by child abuse. Garcia and Roach were being held on Friday, September 13 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.

Under South Carolina law, a circuit judge would have to conduct bond hearings for Garcia and Roach in general sessions court because homicide by child abuse is a felony that carries a maximum punishment of life in prison, Metts said. The 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office has not yet scheduled bond hearings for Garcia and Roach.

Arrest warrants allege that between July 31, 2012 and September 2, 2013 Garcia and Roach caused the death of their 13-month-old daughter, Madison Garcia, under circumstances that manifested an extreme indifference to human life through lethal neglect, Metts said. Madison Garcia died on September 2, 2013 at Lexington Medical Center due to cardiac arrest that was caused by chronic malnutrition and dehydration.

Arrest warrants further allege that Filiberto Garcia and Roach were the primary caregivers for Madison Garcia and were responsible for properly caring for their daughter, Metts said. At the time of her death, Madison Garcia weighed slightly more than nine pounds, with no medical reason for her state of chronic malnutrition and dehydration. Madison Garcia weighed 6.3 pounds when she was discharged from the hospital following her birth.

In addition, arrest warrants allege that Madison Garcia had not received medical care since November 12, 2012 and had been left unattended for about nine hours on the date of her death, Metts said. Filiberto Garcia found Madison Garcia unresponsive in her crib at about 9 p.m. on the date of her death.

Deputies went to the home of Filiberto Garcia and Roach at about 9:34 p.m. on September 2, 2013 after Lexington County Emergency Medical Services personnel found Madison Garcia unresponsive at her parents’ home and were preparing to transport the 13-month-old girl by ambulance to Lexington Medical Center, Metts said. On the date of her death, Roach told deputies that she last fed Madison Garcia at about 12 p.m. and did not physically check on the 13-month-old child after feeding her. Roach told deputies that she did not see her daughter again until Filiberto Garcia found that the 13-month-old girl was not breathing in her crib.


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