Phoenix man accused of killing girlfriend’s 18-month-old child

Feb 3, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: Mar 3, 2023, 7:55 am
Diego Garcia (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
Diego Garcia (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man was arrested Thursday for allegedly causing the death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old child, authorities said.

Diego Garcia, 23, was booked on counts of first-degree murder and child abuse, according to court documents. (UPDATE: A grand jury indicted Garcia on those charges Feb. 13.)

The toddler suffered head, face, back and abdomen injuries while in Garcia’s care Wednesday night, according to the probable cause statement for his arrest.

Garcia, who isn’t related to the victim, was also watching his own 5-year-old child at a residence near Central Avenue and Baseline Road. The suspect and the victim’s mother had been dating for about a month and were living together.

The victim was unresponsive when the mother returned from work around 10:30 p.m. The mother rushed the child to the home of the child’s grandmother, who called 911.

The fire department took the child to the hospital. The victim was pronounced dead around 9:20 a.m. Thursday.

The mother and grandmother both told police the child was fine before the mother went to work at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and left the child with Garcia.

Garcia gave accounts what weren’t consistent with the child’s injuries when police questioned him, according to the probable cause statement.

He was being held on a $2 million bond. He has a status conference scheduled for Feb. 9 and preliminary hearing Feb. 13.

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Phoenix man accused of killing girlfriend’s 18-month-old child