Police search home on the 5100 block of Glide Drive, across the street from Pioneer Park, in Davis.
DAVIS, CA - The family of 5-year-old Tatiana Garcia, who was found in the trunk of her mother's car, question whether her body should have been released to her father.
The question: Does a restraining order apply in death?
Jennifer Ani, the lawyer for the maternal relatives of Tatiana Garcia, said it does and the family is upset Tatiana's body was released to her father Oracio Garcia.
The girl's mother, Aquelin Crystal Talamantes, was arrested last week in connection to Tatiana Garcia's death. She was arrested after the little girl's body was found in the trunk of her car parked in the parking lot of a Sacramento-area apartment complex. Talamantes pleaded not guilty to murder and assault at her arraignment earlier this week.
Tatiana's dad Oracio Garcia had a restraining order against him, barring contact with Tatiana, Talamantes and her little brother.
The Talamantes family originally had funeral services planned for Tatiana on Thursday. They said the Sacramento County coroner, instead, released her body to Garcia. According to the coroner's website, Tatiana's body was released to the Bryan-Braker Funeral home. Garcia's sister said they had a private funeral service for Tatiana Thursday morning, but declined to provide any more information.
Court documents show Garcia's restraining order stemmed from domestic violence issues and wasn't supposed to expire until 2017. Different court records show Garcia describes Talamantes as suffering from "anger problems", and he was worried about his children.
Ani said Garcia had no custody rights while Tatiana was alive and has no rights to her body now. She said the restraining order is valid even in death.
Here, under these facts, I do not agree with the coroner's decision to release the child's body to the father because there was a valid, enforceable restraining order protecting the child from any contact with her Father while she was alive, and there is no law that makes this CLETs-based restraining order extinguish with the child's death, Ani released in a statement.
The order should have and could have protected her and the decision to ignore the restraining order was a bad one. There is no way the father legally could have or should have been allowed to collect the child's remains when there still existed a valid, enforceable order preventing any contact between Father and child. He was not legally authorized nor was he in any way entitled to her remains.
Sacramento County Coroner Gregory Wyatt offered this statement in response:
We have no cause of death or further information to release regarding the death investigation since the investigation is still active. Restraining orders are not relevant regarding the release of remains for burial. I am not aware of any restraining order that is valid after death. California Coroners are responsible for release of remains for final disposition rights pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 7100. In this case my office followed the law and released this child pursuant to H&S Code section 7100.