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Abused child rescued from NE side home

Mother's boyfriend identified as suspect

Armed with information from a witness, SAPD officers said they rescued an abused, malnourished 4-year-old girl with massive injuries from inside a northeast side home Friday.

"Thank God that this person reported it," said Chief William McManus. "There's no doubt in my mind, this child probably would be dead."

The case comes at the beginning of national Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The arrest warrant affidavit stated the girl showed signs of ongoing abuse including head trauma, facial fractures and lacerations and abrasions all over her body.

"There were horrific injuries, broken tailbone, pelvis, broken fingers, broken jaw," McManus said.

The affidavit also quoted what the mother told police, "The defendant is very abusive and strikes the victim with a belt and denies her food."

Police said 22-year-old Ray Garcia Jr. has been charged with serious bodily injury to a child. He is identified as the mother's boyfriend. However, the chief said the mother may face charges as well.

The affidavit said the apparent reason given by the child for the alleged abuse is that she would urinate on herself.

Investigators said while the mother was at work, Garcia was the primary caretaker for the child and her three siblings, ages, six, three and 11 months.

A spokeswoman for Child Protective Services said all of them are now in the care of CPS as it investigates the case.

McManus said the witness was a family acquaintance who noticed the girl had difficulty walking and other obvious signs of trauma. The chief said instead of believing it was none of their business, the person alerted police.

SAPD officers and detectives, the fire department, Child Protective Services and medical personnel eventually found the house and little girl who was hospitalized.

"It's a great day that this child has been rescued, it really is," said McManus.

He urged the public to call 911 or Child Protective Services if they suspect child abuse.

"We would rather have that report, investigate it and find out there's nothing to it, than you not report it, because there could be something to it," said McManus.