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Calif. Couple Flee, Leave Behind Dead Daughter, Abandoned Son, Say Cops

Alberto and Carla Garcia (Personal Photo)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CBS/AP) Bakersfield police are looking for a family of five who has disappeared, leaving behind a dead 3-year-old adopted daughter, and her 4-year-old brother, who was sleeping.

Police say it appears that 26-year-old Alberto Garcia, and his wife, Carla, fled Saturday night with their three biological children in their white 1997 Ford Expedition. Investigators believe they high-tailed it for Mexico.

Police say they went to the home Sunday morning after a relative discovered the two children.

Police have not released details on the girl's death, but say her body showed signs of visible trauma.

Officers found the two adopted children after Carla Garcia called her sister Sunday morning and told her to go to the house, said Bakersfield Police Sgt. Mary DeGeare, adding that investigators believe the family already was in Mexico at the time.

The couple is wanted in Kern County on suspicion of child endangerment, and local authorities were working Monday with the FBI to get a federal warrant for unlawful flight, DeGeare said. Police also wanted to check the welfare of their other children, ages 4 to 10.

Patty Clemons, who lives next door, said she was shocked because the Garcias appeared to be good parents who cooked dinner every night and often took the children out to play.

"Everything they did was for the kids," Clemons told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper, adding that she believed the girl's death must have been "an accidental thing."

Anyone with information about the case can call the Bakersfield Police Department at (661) 327-7111.

  • Edecio Martinez

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