Miguel Garcia, Once Investigated By CPS, Accused of Killing 1-Year-Old
The hits keep coming for the folks at Arizona Child Protective Services -- the latest child killed by a person the agency has investigated in the past is 1-year-old Aleigh Torres, who police say was murdered by her mother's boyfriend, 22-year-old Miguel "Angel" Garcia.
According to court records obtained by New Times, Glendale police were called on Sunday about an unresponsive 1-year-old at an apartment in the 6100 block of 60th Avenue.
When police arrived, they found Aleigh not breathing. She was taken to Maryvale Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Detectives spoke to Garcia, who initially told them he was watching Aleigh -- and her three siblings, ages 6, 4, and 2 -- while the children's mother, Kerrie Serivano, was at work.
Garcia claims he put the girl down for a nap and then saw the other children fighting, so he left Aleigh's bedroom to tell them to quiet down.
After about five minutes, he initially told police, Garcia didn't hear anything coming from Aleigh's room. When he checked on her, he found her unresponsive and making "gurgling" noises.
As we mentioned, CPS has investigated Garcia -- as well as Serivano -- in the past. When Aleigh died, the three other children were taken into the agency's custody as police investigated the girl's death.
Similar to the Jhessye Shockley disappearance (which you can read about here), once in foster care, the siblings told their foster families what really happened the day Aleigh died.
The kids told their foster families -- and later police -- that Garcia was mad at the 1-year-old because she was crying. So he wrapped her up in a blanket and stuck her in a closet. When she was taken out of the closet, Aleigh's siblings later told police, she was purple.
Garcia was arrested and re-interviewed by police yesterday. After telling detectives the same story he'd initially told them, he changed his tune when told the other siblings said he put the girl in a closet.
Garcia admitted to wrapping the girl in a blanket and leaving her in the closet. He told police he's done it in the past, too.
Garcia was booked into jail on one count each of first-degree murder, manslaughter, and child abuse. He's being held on $450,000 bond.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.