Family: Body in reservoir is missing Mass. student

Apr 12, 2012, 2:51 AM

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) – Seven weeks of searching and hoping for their son’s safe return dissolved into grief Wednesday for the parents of a Boston College student who said police pulled his remains from the water of a reservoir near the campus.

Priests prayed over 21-year-old chemistry major Franco Garcia before authorities placed his body inside a van at the edge of Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

Garcia’s father, Jose Garcia, weeping at his Newton home later Wednesday, said, “I found him. But not the way I want.”

Garcia was last seen drinking with friends at a bar near campus early on Feb. 22. He had planned to stay the night at a friend’s dorm but never showed. His car was parked where he left it, there was no new activity on his credit card and no one had used his cellphone since it pinged off a tower near the reservoir that night.

Divers had repeatedly scoured the depths of the reservoir, in between campus and the bar, since he disappeared. Authorities also used sonar to search the reservoir, but found no sign of Garcia there until a man walking his dog reported seeing a body in the water Wednesday.

Authorities said the body was found in an area of heavy weeds, which had limited visibility during their searches.

The family said police reported that the clothes on the body matched the description of what Garcia was wearing when he was last seen. Police also found the student’s wallet in his pocket and recovered his eyeglasses, according to his family, though the district attorney said he couldn’t confirm for certain that the body was Garcia’s until authorities performed an autopsy.

Garcia’s parents said police told them they will investigate whether their son died in an accident or if foul play was a factor. They said they hope authorities find that Garcia’s death was an accident so they can have some closure as they grieve.

“This is not going to be over until we find the truth of what happened with him,” Luzmila Garcia told The Associated Press. “The only thing I ask is to find the truth _ what happened with Franco?”

The night he disappeared, her son had gone to a popular hangout with fellow members of Boston College’s Symphonic Band after a practice on campus. Inside the bar, he also met up with friends from high school. At closing time, his college friends couldn’t find him. A close friend of Garcia’s previously told the AP that Garcia was drunk “but not smashed” that night.

There is no fence around the reservoir where authorities found the body.

Police got involved a day later, when his parents returned in a panic from a vacation to New York City after not being able to reach him.

Garcia lived at home with his parents, who emigrated more than two decades ago from Lima, Peru. Worried relatives there also have been following the case, and one of Luzmila Garcia’s sisters flew to Boston from Lima to help search for her nephew.

The case drew the attention of singer Bruce Springsteen, whose son is a senior at Boston College. The musician posted the student’s missing person poster on both Twitter and Facebook.

A priest joined Garcia’s parents at their home later in the day, when they said they would begin planning for their son’s funeral now that their search for him had ended. Family planned to attend a church service in Garcia’s memory at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Catholic parish Saint Mary in Waltham.

Luzmila Garcia said that while she knew her son was gone, she still felt his spirit.

“I can see him telling me, `Calm down, Mama. That’s OK,'” she said. “He’s telling me that.”


Associated Press writers Rodrique Ngowi and Mark Pratt contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE -  A Goodyear tire sits on display at a tire shop on Feb. 12, 2014, in South Euclid, Ohio. A f...
Associated Press

Arizona lawyer subpoenaed in criminal investigation of Goodyear tires

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles is gathering evidence in a criminal investigation of Goodyear recreational vehicle tires.
1 day ago
Following days of rain, floodwaters cover streets in the Planada community of Merced County, Calif....
Associated Press

Atmospheric rivers in California boost water allocation for cities

Public water agencies in California will be getting more water from the state because of recent heavy rain.
1 day ago
(Brian Munoz/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)...
Associated Press

FDA declines to regulate CBD; calls on Congress for fix

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday there are too many unknowns about CBD products to regulate them as foods or supplements under the agency’s current structure and called on Congress to create new rules for the massive and growing market. The marijuana-derived products have become increasingly popular in lotions, tinctures and foods, while their […]
1 day ago
FILE - An employee works in the battery assembly hall at the BMW Spartanburg plant in Greer, S.C., ...
Associated Press

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession. Thursday’s estimate from the Commerce Department showed that the nation’s gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — […]
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)...
Associated Press

Pope Francis discusses his health, critics and future of papacy

In his first interview since the death of retired Pope Benedict XVI, Francis tells The Associated Press he plans to continue for as long as he can as bishop of Rome
2 days ago
Eric Sham visits a makeshift memorial on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 for those killed in a mass shoot...
Associated Press

US Secret Service releases report on mass attacks

A new report on mass attacks calls for communities to intervene early when they see warning signs of violence.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Family: Body in reservoir is missing Mass. student