SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. – [UPDATE DECEMBER 26, 2019] Cochise County officials say Marina Garcia was arrested before Christmas Day at a Target store in Sierra Vista. They say she was living with a soldier stationed at Fort Huachuca. The News 4 Tucson Investigators will have more updates as they become available.]
A woman who gave her baby away last year has gone from former inmate to fugitive.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned 32-year-old Marina Garcia has violated parole and her whereabouts are unknown. There is a felony warrant out for her arrest.
We last saw Garcia at her sentencing for her unimaginable crime. She had given her newborn baby away and lied about it.
Her husband at the time, Army Sgt. Steven Garcia, was stationed in South Korea. Marina told him the child died during birth. But she had given the three-day-old boy to old friends. She pleaded guilty to Attempted Scheme to Defraud, a felony. Cochise County Judge John Kelliher didn’t allow Marina’s comments to be recorded because she received death threats.
The judge fought back tears at sentencing as he said, “It shocks the conscience because we’re dealing with another human being, a child. But also a father.”
Marina cried at her sentencing and said she accepted responsibility. She was sentenced to four months in jail and five years’ probation. She did the jail time but now, the News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned, Marina Garcia is a fugitive. Officials say a felony warrant is out for her arrest for violating probation. She missed a restitution hearing and a meeting with her probation officer. She faces up to two years in prison if her probation is revoked. A source told us Marina was seen last week in Pueblo, Colorado. That has not been confirmed by law enforcement.
Richard Wintory is the attorney for Marina’s now ex-husband. Steven thought he was the father until DNA tests showed he wasn’t.
Wintory said, “If they had awards for worst mother ever, Marina Garcia has got to be a strong competitor for winning, because she’s done the most horrible things in terms of what can be done in meeting your obligations.” Wintory called Marina violating probation “infuriating.”
The Cochise County Probation Department says Marina had mentioned eventually moving out of Arizona.”
We first met Marina last year at her Sierra Vista apartment before she pleaded guilty.
At the time she claimed she wanted custody of the baby she gave away. She said of her ex-husband, “He’s not gonna get custody of the baby, he’s not the biological father.” We asked her, “Will you tell us who is?” She said, “Uh, it’s an unknown. It’s unknown.”
But Seven Garcia was granted sole custody. The child he named ‘Leo’ is 20-months old, living with Steven and his parents. We are not disclosing their location to protect their privacy and safety. Steven adopted a child that wasn’t his because he too was adopted.
Steven told us if he could talk to Maria, “I would just ask her why? Why she lied about everything. I want to know what was going through her head, to be honest with you.”
Wintory said, “Until she’s brought to justice again, we don’t know what she’s capable of.” He added that if he could talk to Marina, he would tell her, “Turn yourself in, face the consequences, take your lumps. Do what you’re supposed to do and get on with your life and stay away from this child.”
If you have any information on Marina Garcia’s whereabouts, authorities say you should call your local law enforcement agency, or the Cochise County Adult Probation Department. That number is (520) 805-5541.
If you have a story you’d like us to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our tip line at (520) 955-4444.