Mother launching abuse foundation after daughter dies

SAN ANTONIO – A woman who lost her child in child abuse case is working to help other abused children and women.

Melanie Garcia, 21, said losing her daughter, Kayla Garcia, 4, has been the hardest thing she's had to deal with and that she still can't believe she's gone.

"She loved life," said Garcia. "She couldn't wait to start school. She was just a real happy person and it's just sad that she's not here no more."

Kayla Garcia was taken to the hospital with bruises and a severe head injury in May. She died days later.

Melanie Garcia said she started a foundation in her daughter's name to help abuse victims.

On Saturday, Garcia held a barbecue fundraiser with with her friends and family to raise money to launch the foundation.

"We want to start the foundation to help other women and children who are going through abusive situations like I did, to help prevent it," said Garcia. "To let them know that it's not too late and you have to do whatever you can."

Charges are still pending against Melanie Garcia and her ex-boyfriend, Matthew Carrillo, 23, who were both arrested after Garcia's daughter was taken to the hospital in May.

Garcia said Saturday that she's hoping that other women in a similar situation to her own will see what she went through and the dangers of what could happen if you don't speak up

"Don't be scared," said Garcia. "Do whatever you can. It's your child. There's no worst feeling in the world than not having your child there with you by your side."

Garcia said she could not talk about details of the case against her. However, she said that she has testified against her ex-boyfriend, telling authorities about the threats that she says he made to keep her from telling about daughter Kayla's abuse.

If you'd like to help the foundation in memory of Kayla Garcia, you can email the group at melanieg366@gmail.com.

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