Documents: Couple debated help hours before girl died

Estevan Garcia and Sacora Horn-Garcia charged with murder

A judge's gavel and documents (Public Domain Photos, George Hodan)
A judge's gavel and documents (Public Domain Photos, George Hodan)

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Court documents show a central Oregon couple accused of killing their 5-year-old daughter debated whether they should take her to a doctor hours before she died.

The Bend Bulletin reports that Estevan Garcia and Sacora Horn-Garcia texted each other on the morning of Dec. 21 trying to decide whether to take Maliyha Garcia to the doctor.

Two hours later, paramedics found the girl unconscious in the Redmond home. Rigor mortis had set in by the time the girl reached the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Autopsy reports show she died of emaciation.

Garcia and Horn-Garcia were charged in early April with murder, manslaughter and criminal mistreatment.

Prosecutors allege the couple intentionally withheld food from the girl as a form of punishment.

Attorneys for both have declined to speak about the case, citing a judge’s gag order.