DAVIS, Calif. - Police are investigating how a Davis mother allegedly killed her 5-year-old daughter. Officers found Tatiana Garcia in the trunk of her mother's car Thursday but were unable to save the girl. Meanwhile, relatives are wondering how the tragedy could have happened and what they could have done to prevent it all.
According to relatives, Talamantes talked to an officer Thursday at her home and said she couldn't take care of her children. Other officers arrived ad talked to her for nearly 40 minutes. This happened hours before her daughter's death.
A relative said 5-year-old Tatiana Garcia was the love of her mother's life.
Acquelin 'Crystal' Talamantes is behind bars at Yolo County Jail, facing murder charges. Her arraignment is scheduled for Monday. But, family members said Talamantes loved her daughter Tatiana and her 4-year-old son so much, it's hard to believe she'd ever hurt her own children.
According to a sister-in-law, "We never thought she would do this. She was a good mom."
That relative lost touch with Talamantes and the children about a year ago. Now knowing the tragic turn of events, the woman wished she had been there to save Tatiana. She fears that Talamantes would have hurt her 4-year-old son next.
Meanwhile, loved ones confirmed details of Talamante's troubled past. Talamantes lost her own mother back in 1995. 43-year-old Rosa Talamantes was murdered, her body found in a ditch in Dixon. Her boyfriend at the time, suspected of committing the heinous crime.
Aquelin Talamantes has struggled with emotional problems before, according to her relatives.
Clinical Psychologist Andrew Mendonsa said there is help out there for parents under a great deal of stress.
"Any fire department in the region, you can take children there. Safe surrender at that point. They get the CPS involved. All the emergency services throughout the region. Hospitals. You can take your child there," said Mendonsa.
Also, the Sacramento Children's Home provides a 24-7 hotline as well as a crisis nursery.
"You can actually go in, drop off your child and have a respite so you don't do anything you regret down the road," said Mendonsa. "Those programs are basically meant for folks who are forward thinking. They're thinking ahead who are concerned 'I might do something to my child or baby. I need to keep my baby safe.' If you are in a psychotic experience, or in a distorted reality, you are not thinking that far ahead."
Mendonsa says that's when loved ones and friends need to step in and get involved by calling law enforcement through 911 or calling to request a welfare check.
By Suzanne Phan, email@example.com