More details have been released around the 29 year old woman arrested in connection with the suspected murder of her 5 year old daughter, who was discovered unresponsive in the trunk of her mother's car Thursday afternoon. Aquelin Talamantes is being held at the Yolo County jail. Thursday afternoon, Aquelin Talamantes drove from her Glide Drive home in Davis to a relative's apartment in Sacramento. When she arrived without her 5 year old daughter, identified as Tatianna Garcia - family members became concerned and contacted Sacramento police to conduct a welfare check.
When officers arrived at the Sacramento apartment complex, they spoke to Talamantes and then searched her Honda Accord which was parked nearby. In the trunk, they discovered the child unresponsive and in need of "immediate medical care". She was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. It is not known how Tatianna ended up in the trunk of her mother's car or how long she had been there, but neighbors in Davis reported seeing the two together earlier in the afternoon. There had been reports of an argument between Talamantes and an unnamed man in the hours before the crime is believed to have occurred.
New details are emerging about another encounter police had with Talamantes on Thursday. Davis Assistant Police Chief Darren Pyten said that his officers initially came into contact with Aquelin Talamantes Thursday morning at 9:30AM, when an officer who was conducting an unrelated traffic stop in front of her home encountered Talamantes acting strangely. She came out to ask what was happening, and her behavior reportedly concerned the officer enough that he called for backup. When backup arrived, the two officers entered Talamantes home and spent 30-40 minutes speaking with her and another unknown adult in the home. The officers reported that the home was clean, and the 5 year old girl and her 4 year old brother showed no sign of abuse or neglect.
Police didn't elaborate on what about Talamantes behavior caused them to be concerned. When no signs of neglect or abuse was detected, the officers gave her information on "family resources" and left the home. By 2:30PM Thursday afternoon, officers in Sacramento had arrived to conduct a welfare check and found 5 year old Tatianna in the trunk. What happened between 9:30AM and the time she arrived in Sacramento remains a mystery. It is also unclear why her relatives were so concerned that she arrived without her daughter. Theoretically, she could have left the child at home in Davis with the other adult who was reportedly at the home or with a babysitter. I'm also wondering where Tatianna's 4 year old brother was during this time - his name has not been disclosed, nor do we know where relatives believed he was at the time of Talamante's arrival in Sacramento on Thursday afternoon.
There has to be more details on this case that are not being released to the public. They haven't released the name of the other person who was at the Glide Drive home in Davis when the police first encountered Talamantes, nor have they confirmed the argument neighbors reportedly heard earlier in the day. The information is sketchy at best. All we know for sure is that 5 year old Tatianna Garcia is dead, and how she ended up in the trunk of the car is unclear. The police must have some theory that would lead them to arrest her in connection with her daughter's death. Most reports I've read seem to indicate that Tatianna was alive when they discovered her in the trunk, but just barely alive. No details have been released about potential signs of trauma on Tatianna's body and the coroner has not released the cause of death, pending results of the autopsy.
The Sacramento and Davis police departments were both involved in this case. Since the "crime scene" is believed to be the family's home on Glide Drive in Davis,the Davis police department is spearheading the case. Talamantes will be arraigned on Monday at 1:30PM, according to Yolo's chief district attorney Jonathan Raven. His office has not yet determined what charges will be filed against Talamantes because police reports have not yet been finalized. This appears to be Aquelin Talamantes first major brush with the law, but records indicate that in 2007 she was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor disorderly conduct while under the influence of a drug in Solano County. Court records indicate she appeared in court in July on a traffic violation.
Meanwhile, relatives at the apartment complex on Pocket Drive in Sacramento posted a note on their front door indicating they were not ready to speak to the media, and attempts to reach Tatianna's father were unsuccessful, according to the Sacramento Bee.
I can't help but think of the similarities of this little girl's fate and the fate of 2 year old Caylee Anthony - who law enforcement officials believed was in the trunk of mother Casey's car for some period of time before her body was discarded. At the same time, there are some major differences in these cases. Tatianna is believed to have been clinging to life when she was found by police in the trunk Thursday afternoon. Casey Anthony has always denied that Caylee was ever in her trunk, for any reason. However, evidence presented at her murder trial indicate a hair linked to Caylee was found in Casey's trunk - characteristics on that hair indicated that it came from someone who was deceased. The disappearance of Caylee Anthony changed course after several people reported a strong odor coming from her mother Casey's car. It was reportedly the smell of decomposition, and the missing person case gave way to a potential homicide case.
Perhaps the only thing these two cases have in common is the notion that both involve children ending up in the trunk of their mothers cars. In the end, Florida prosecutors were unable to convince a jury that Caylee Anthony was murdered by her mother and placed in the trunk of her car, where she remained for a period of time before being discarded in several trash bags in a swampy wooded area just blocks from the Anthony family home. Although it seemed to be a very strong circumstantial case, the jury wasn't satisfied that the coroner could not definitively say how Caylee died - therefore, they had a difficult time convicting Casey of her homicide. The real shocker there was that the jury didn't find Casey's failure to report her daughter missing until she could no longer hide that fact from her concerned parents - and her parents, not Casey, contacted police to report the child was missing. In this case, it was again concerned relatives who contacted police.
In this case, the child was discovered by police in the trunk. Will the mother claim that she didn't know Tatianna was in the trunk? Will she say the child got into the trunk without her knowledge? The autopsy report will be key in this case. In keeping an open mind, accidents happen - it's not a stretch of the imagination to think a child may want to go with her mom, and hide in the trunk. I personally don't believe that, but it's not unheard of. The physical evidence and the autopsy results should fill in the blanks in this case. I'm sure the police have a statement or some definitive evidence that caused them to believe this death was suspicious and there may have been foul play. If the evidence pointed towards an accident, I'm not sure they would have arrested a grieving mother - but I may be way off.
I will continue to update this blog as more details of the case become available. I live around 90 minutes from Sacramento, so I consider this to be local news. Have a great weekend!