LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Stephen Garcia clearly didn't want to live without his ex-girlfriend, Katie Tagle, or share custody of their infant son, so in an apparent murder-suicide, the angry California father killed his child, then himself. Hours later he was still telling the world just how he felt, in a suicide note on Facebook, possibly posted by a friend.
Photo: Stephen Garcia with his 9-month-old son, who were found dead in the San Bernardino Mountains.
"There! Now we're sleeping with you," the Facebook message read on top of a photo of Garcia and his sleeping son. "Find it in your heart to forgive me. It's my job to protect him. I know God will welcome our son with open arms."
The bodies of the 25-year-old Garcia, of Pinon Hills, Calif. and his son, Wyatt, were found early Sunday on an isolated dirt trail in the San Bernardino Mountains.
The discovery came after authorities learned that Garcia had taken the boy during a court-ordered visit and threatened to kill him and commit suicide.
Photo: Katie Tagle and Stephen Garcia, the parents of 9-month-old Wyatt Garcia.
Officials are looking into whether a third party was involved in posting the suicide note and collage to Garcia's Facebook page, and whether Garcia prepared the items prior to his death.
In the days before his death, Garcia posted seemingly desperate messages to his ex-girlfriend, along with pictures of him and Wyatt, and video clips of the baby at a younger age. On his MySpace page, he set his mood to "scared," and wrote the words, "one more day."
The baby's mother, Katie Tagle, filed a request last December for a restraining order in San Bernardino County Court, but it was denied on Jan. 12 because Garcia was not considered a "threat to petitioner or the minor child."
According to the Hi-Desert Star, Tagle sought restraining orders against Garcia several times, amid claims he sent her threatening messages, but was denied by at least two judges. A restraining order was granted eventually, says the paper, but another judge did not uphold it.
According to the newspaper, Tagle's mother, Maria Brown, said, "This was preventable. This didn't have to happen."