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A father of four is behind bars after his youngest child – a 2-year-old girl – was found dead Friday afternoon at a mobile home park in Northeast Albuquerque.
Michael David Garcia, 32, is charged with intentional child abuse resulting in the death of his daughter Diana McGrory. Garcia was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center early Saturday morning.
Court records show Garcia petitioned for custody of Diana and the other three children within a month of being indicted in 2017 for allegedly physically abusing their mother, Nancy McGrory, for several days in their home. That case was eventually dismissed.
Before his arrest Friday, Garcia told police he had just won custody of the children from McGrory.
Police have said the children are now in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. It is unclear if Garcia has an attorney, and his mother declined to comment Saturday. According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court:
Police responded around 2 p.m. to Garcia’s mobile home in the 7400 block of San Pedro NE, north of San Antonio, after paramedics were unable to revive the child. The 2-year-old appeared emaciated and had “visible bruising” to the majority of her body as well as burns to her back thigh and hands. Garcia’s mother and his other three children were also at the home.
In front of police, a distraught Garcia repeatedly said “I (expletive) up, you’re not going to forgive me” for several minutes. He also said “why did you do something, the boys were just fighting” as he held his face in his hands.
Garcia told police the bruises came from the child hitting her head against the wall and the burn was from “a stove or pot of water.” Garcia said both Diana and her 4-year-old brother try to hurt themselves but he did not elaborate. Garcia told police he was “frustrated” because he had just won custody of Diana and believed “he could have saved her” if it he had gotten custody sooner.
An autopsy found, along with the burns and bruising, there was a potential bleed inside Diana’s skull.
A neighbor told police he heard Garcia yelling inside the home on multiple occasions and believed he had “anger issues.” Garcia’s mother told police her son found Diana unresponsive after she came home from work and tried to do CPR.
She told police her son does not work and stays home to care for the kids. Garcia’s mother said Diana had facial bruises for sometime and did not remember when they happened.
She told police Garcia was recently giving Diana a bath and over the phone she heard a “boom” and Garcia said Diana had “thrown herself down” in the tub. Garcia’s mother said on Sept. 27 Garcia told her Diana was following him in the kitchen when she got burned by a hot pan, but neither of them took her to get medical attention.
Garcia’s 5-year-old son told police both his father and grandmother spank the children with a belt on their hands and butt and Garcia “gets so mad” when he spanks them.