Pair charged after infant daughter dies from malnutrition, dehyd - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Pair charged after infant daughter dies from malnutrition, dehydration

Tracy Roach (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) Tracy Roach (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
Filiberto Garcia (Source: Lexington County Detention Center) Filiberto Garcia (Source: Lexington County Detention Center)
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

Two people have been arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse after authorities determined their deceased infant daughter was severely malnourished and dehydrated, according to Lexington County James R. Metts.

Lexington County Sheriff's Department detectives in cooperation with the Lexington County Coroner's Office on Thursday arrested a 33-year-old Filiberto Garcia and his wife, 42-year-old Tracy Roach on charges that their 13-month-old daughter died as a result of chronic malnutrition and dehydration that occurred under circumstances that manifested an extreme indifference to human life through lethal neglect.

Deputies say the child had Down syndrome and appears to have been neglected for most of her brief life.

Detectives arrested the pair on Thursday.

Both live at 4959 Edmund Highway in West Columbia. Metts said there was a 7-year old boy in the home who appears to be in good health, and deputies say the home appeared to be in acceptable shape.

Arrest warrants allege that between July 31, 2012 and September 2, 2013 Garcia and Roach caused the death of their 13-month-old daughter, Madison Garcia, under circumstances that manifested an extreme indifference to human life through lethal neglect, Metts said. Madison Garcia died on September 2, 2013 at Lexington Medical Center due to cardiac arrest that was caused by chronic malnutrition and dehydration.

Arrest warrants further allege that Filiberto Garcia and Roach were the primary caregivers for Madison Garcia and were responsible for properly caring for their daughter, Metts said. At the time of her death, Madison Garcia weighed slightly more than nine pounds, with no medical reason for her state of chronic malnutrition and dehydration. Madison Garcia weighed 6.3 pounds when she was discharged from the hospital following her birth.

According to the World Health Organization, the average weight of a breastfeeding girl at the age of 13 months is approximately 20 pounds.

In addition, arrest warrants allege that Madison Garcia had not received medical care since November 12, 2012 and had been left unattended for about nine hours on the date of her death, Metts said. Filiberto Garcia found Madison Garcia unresponsive in her crib at about 9 p.m. on the date of her death.

Deputies went to the home of Garcia and Roach at about 9:30 p.m. on September 2 after Lexington County Emergency Medical Services personnel found Madison Garcia unresponsive there and were preparing to transport the girl by ambulance to Lexington Medical Center, Metts said.

On the date of her death, Roach told deputies that she last fed Madison Garcia at about 12 p.m. and did not physically check on the 13-month-old child after feeding her. Roach told deputies that she did not see her daughter again until Filiberto Garcia found that the 13-month-old girl was not breathing in her crib.

Garcia and Roach were being held on Friday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.

Under South Carolina law, a circuit judge would have to conduct bond hearings for Garcia and Roach in general sessions court because homicide by child abuse is a felony that carries a maximum punishment of life in prison, Metts said. The 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office has not yet scheduled bond hearings for Garcia and Roach.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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