Hearing that your newborn baby had died right after birth can be devastating for any father. Especially if he is miles away from his wife.
When a guy learned that his baby had died shortly after birth, he was devastated. However, he quickly discovered the truth, which was far from what he anticipated. It would ultimately break his family into pieces.
The 24-year-old US Army sergeant, Steven Garcia, was a patrol supervisor with the 142nd Military Police Company on a foreign assignment in Seoul. As January progressed, another role emerged quickly: that of a father.
Garcia waited in Arizona for his wife Marina to give birth to their child. The US soldier, stationed in South Korea, was looking forward to returning home and meeting his child. However, he was heartbroken when Marina informed him that the baby had died during the birth.
When his sister called to tell him the news, Steven was distraught. ”We cried quite a bit together over the phone. It was devastating.”
Unfortunately, the worst blow was yet to come—his wife had lied to him about many things.
The baby was alive, but he was not with his mother. The new mother had given away their child to a couple from Texas. Leslie and Alex Hernandez, two friends of Marina, illegally adopted the infant.
They were fast to run away with the child but fortunately, they couldn’t. They were caught by the police speeding in Texas. And that’s how the whole evil plan unfolded.
When the patrolman sensed something was odd was going on beyond the speeding, he confronted them and demanded more information. The couple later admitted that the kid was not theirs, and Alex had illegally signed as the baby’s father.
The Hernandez pair pleaded guilty to forgery and received a four-year probationary sentence. Marina also confessed to an “attempted fraudulent scheme.”
The whole thing was a big pile of confusion for Garcia. Why would his wife give birth to their child and purposefully give him away to someone else? The truth behind it was even more heartbreaking for him.
He was not the baby’s biological father. He said: “I was under the assumption the entire time that she was pregnant that I was the father. When I found out, I was kind of in denial. I couldn’t believe what was going on.”
Marina Garcia, according to investigators, lied to her husband’s family about the baby’s death in order to conceal her infidelity. To conceal the evidence, she allegedly devised a scheme to hand over the newborn to a couple in Texas.
She also fabricated the necessary paperwork to keep the adoption off the legal radar. Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre said, “The only thing on her mind was getting rid of this child. This ‘problem’ in her life.”
According to the Arizona Range News, the deceit began on February 5 on Interstate 10 in Arizona. An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer observed a tan sport utility vehicle travelling eastward at 90 miles per hour.
The police pulled over the car and discovered three individuals inside: Alex Hernandez, 33, his wife Leslie, 41, and a newborn infant boy.
When investigators checked the couple’s devices, they discovered that Leslie Hernandez had arranged the handoff with Garcia via texts and Facebook messaging. Marina was interviewed by police in Sierra Vista, Arizona, on the same day. She admits to conspiring with the Texas couple.
Marina told detectives she planned to travel to Texas to sign away her parental rights once she recovered from the birth.
Marina also stated that she had given birth to the child at 37 weeks but had no idea who the father was. It wasn’t her husband, she insisted.
It was highly likely that she was having extramarital affairs while Garcia was away. She was staying with her boyfriend at the time she was arrested.
Back in South Korea, Garcia was approached by investigators who informed him that his child was still alive and well, and that he was a boy. The sergeant took an unscheduled leave of absence to visit the baby, who had been taken into state custody.
Leo, the baby, is currently in the care of foster parents. According to paternity tests, Garcia was not the father. Since then, he has filed for divorce from his wife.
Despite the fact that no money appears to have been exchanged for the kid, Marina and the Hernandez family all faced criminal prosecution for their roles in the plan.
“What scares me is that if it hadn’t been the Hernandez if the couple hadn’t been willing to step forward, then what person off the Internet might have been next?” Cochise County Attorney. The through itself is scary.
Garcia, on the other hand, is determined to remain in the child’s life. He has already paid eight visits to Leo and intends to file for custody. Gracia being an adopted child himself feels more morally directed to this decision.
“My adopted father completely changed my life,” Garcia said. “Without him I would not be where I am today. The opportunity to do that for someone else, I believe it’s important. It could change the child’s life and give him a better future. I believe that’s the right thing to do.”
On being asked what he would say to his soon to be ex-wife Gracia broke down in front of the news media.
He continued, “I would just ask her, ‘Why?’ Why she lied about everything. I want to know what was going through her head, to be honest with you.”
Marina was adamant that Garcia will not be able to win custody over Leo. She now faces felony charges for forging fake documents.
Let’s hope that Garcia wins the custody battle. After everything, he definitely deserves the win.