|Aquelin Tamalantes - Photo: Sacramento/CBS Local|
29 year old Aquelin Talamantes of Davis, CA is expected to be arraigned Monday in Yolo County. Talamantes was arrested after Sacramento police officers performing a "welfare check" searched the mother's Honda Accord and discovered 5 year old Tatianna Garcia unresponsive in the trunk. Officers and bystanders on the scene desperately tried to render medical aid to the girl, who was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
It is still unclear exactly what happened to Tatianna Garcia and how she ended up in trunk of her mother's car. The child had been seen earlier with her mother and 5 year old brother at their Glide Drive home in Davis. Davis police actually had contact with Talamantes earlier in the day, when responding to an unrelated traffic incident in front of Talamantes home at 9:30AM. Something about Talamantes behavior concerned the officer enough to make him call for backup. When backup arrived, the two officers went to Talamantes home and spoke to her and another unknown adult for 30-40 minutes. According to the responding officers, the home was clean and 5 year old Tatianna and her 4 year old brother did not appear to be abused or neglected. The officers provided Talamantes with information on family resources and left without incident.
Exactly what happened between 9:30AM and 2:30PM that Thursday is a mystery. Neighbors in Davis reportedly overheard an argument between Aquelin Talamantes and an unknown male. Later that afternoon, Aquelin drove to a relatives apartment near Pocket Road in Sacramento. When she arrived without her daughter, family members became concerned enough to contact police and ask them to conduct a welfare check on the child. This in itself raises questions. Why would it concern them that Talamantes arrived alone? By all reports it sounds like she has 2 children - 5 year old Tatianna and a 4 year old son. I would imagine she may have had access to babysitters, or daycare - and depending on who the unknown male police encountered earlier that day was, perhaps she had left the children in his care?
Something about her behavior must have caused her relatives in Sacramento to become so concerned and suspicious that they contacted law enforcement. Those are the questions that have not yet been publicly answered. Tatianna's father's name has not been disclosed, and I have no idea if he was a part of her life. Her family in Sacramento have posted a sign on the front door of their apartment telling the media that they are not ready to talk about this incident. I'd imagine they are in shock and are grieving. They need time to process what has happened and how this could have happened in their family. I hope the media allows them the time to privately grieve their loss. I'm sure in time the pieces of this puzzle will fall into place.
Aquelin Talamantes is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. At that time, we should learn more about what charges she is facing. The coroner has not disclosed a cause of death, and toxicology reports could take 4-6 weeks to come back. Until then, how the little girl's life ended in the trunk of her mother's Honda Accord remains a complete mystery. Talamantes doesn't have a police record, with the exception of a 2007 conviction for disorderly conduct while under the influence of a controlled substance. Drugs, as well all know, can lead people to do the unthinkable. Did the officers who encountered Talamantes that Thursday morning suspect her of being under the influence of something that caused them to be concerned? Obviously, the initial officer involved with the unrelated traffic stop/accident observed behavior that concerned him enough to call for backup and spent 30 minutes in her house.
Could this tragedy have been prevented? We may never know. All we do know is that a 5 year old girl is dead. Her mother is under arrest, and being held for suspicion of murder. Police believe Talamantes Glide Drive home is the primary crime scene, but haven't said why they believe that. We don't know if little Tatianna's body showed any signs of trauma at this point. My prayers go out to this little girls family.