Grandmother charged with child abuse in death of 2-year-old - Albuquerque Journal

Grandmother charged with child abuse in death of 2-year-old

Diana Cantu, also goes by Garcia (MDC)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Michael David Garcia was charged earlier this month in the death of his 2-year-old daughter after she was found to have bruises and burns covering her body at the mobile home he shares with his mother.

On Friday, police arrested Garcia’s mother after a sibling detailed her involvement in the alleged abuse and doctors discovered two other children in her care had unexplained broken bones.

Diana Garcia, 53, who also goes by Cantu, is charged with child abuse resulting in death in the Oct. 1 death of Diana McGrory. Her 32-year-old son was arrested on the same charge on Oct. 2. They are both being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Garcia’s three remaining children, between the ages of 4 and 5, are in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

Court records and police reports detail a lengthy and messy custody battle between Garcia and the mother of the children, leading up to him gaining full custody.

Megan Mitsunaga, Michael Garcia’s attorney, said her client maintains his innocence in Diana’s death and will be “vigorously defending” against the allegations.

Michael Garcia (MDC)

It is unclear if his mother has an attorney.

Police responded around 2 p.m. to the mobile home in the 7400 block of San Pedro NE, north of San Antonio, after paramedics were unable to revive Diana. The child was found to be emaciated and had bruising and burns covering her body.

Michael Garcia was arrested after his explanations of the injuries did not satisfy investigators. Diana Garcia told police her son was “not an angry or violent person” but did seem frustrated not knowing how to handle his children’s autism.

She said the children had been living with her since late July and neither she nor her son spanked the children.

Garcia’s 5-year-old son told police a different story: his father and grandmother beat the kids with belts and their hands when the children don’t listen.

The boy told police when his 2-year-old sister was bad she was “punished and hurt” by Michael and Diana Garcia. The boy said they spanked Diana with a belt and their hands “on a lot of days” and she had a lot of Band-Aids on her face.

A maternal aunt who cared for the children after their father’s arrest told police the two 4-year-old boys had been eating excessively at her home. The aunt brought the boys in for an exam on Oct. 4.

The doctor found multiple unexplained fractures to both boys, including a broken foot, ankle and clavicle as well as significant bruising to the abdomen and back.

“This presentation is indicative of physical abuse,” an officer wrote in the complaint.

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