Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Three siblings drown while mother’s at work

August 11, 2001


— Three unattended siblings drowned in a motel pool so murky it took rescue workers more than 30 minutes to discover the third victim, police said Friday.

"It appears one of the children went into the pool and the other children went in to save him," said Justice of the Peace B.H. Jameson.

The mother, Blaza Garcia, 40, was charged Friday with felony child abandonment. An arraignment was not immediately set, and a defense attorney had not been appointed.

Recovering the bodies Thursday was hampered by poor visibility in the Palace Inn Motel pool, said Longview Police Sgt. John M. Ray.

"We get there and think there are only two victims," Ray said.

The victims were identified as Maria Martinez, 10; Israel Martinez, 8, and Marvin Martinez, 6. Ray said police have not determined if the children knew how to swim.

Autopsies have been ordered, and the water is being tested.

After the victims were taken to the hospital, police went into a hotel room and found five of their siblings, Ray said.

The oldest, a 13-year-old boy, told police he did not know the three had left the room.

Ray said the 13-year-old told police his mother and stepfather were at work where they painted vehicles.

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