The Queens, N.Y., woman who was brutally murdered last month along with her two young daughters had filed a police report last May telling the NYPD that she feared for her life. But the warning she issued about her husband was overlooked because it was never translated from her native Spanish, the New York Post reports.
Deisy Garcia, who was originally from Guatemala, filled out the domestic-incident report after officers were called to her apartment on May 30, saying that her husband, Miguel Mejia-Ramos, had assaulted her.
The form for the report has instructions printed in English and Spanish, according to the Post, and the 21-year-old mother detailed in Spanish how she was afraid that her 29-year-old husband was going to kill her as well as her two baby daughters because she loved them so much. Later, in November, another report was filed, although she didn’t reiterate that she thought she was going to be killed.
According to the Post, neither report was translated into English until her husband brutally stabbed her and their two daughters—aged 1 and 2—in January.
“I’m in so much pain,” Garcia’s mother, Luzmina Alvarado, told the Post. “I’m not sure how to go on.”
“I know she contacted them and told them he kicked her and abused her, but the police told her they needed to see proof of the abuse. They told her there was no evidence and left it at that,” she added. “I told the cops, ‘Now that my daughter is dead, you’re hunting for this man like dogs, but if you did more earlier—if you had listened to my daughter—she might be alive today.'”
Garcia’s 19-year-old brother, José, also slammed the police for the fatal oversight.
“When someone comes to them with a problem but only speaks Spanish, find someone who speaks Spanish,” he said. “They’re supposed to help us no matter who we are. My sister and her kids might still be alive if they had done their jobs.”
According to the Post, all cops were reminded that reports made in foreign languages had to be translated into English. The department is also considering computer software that would automatically translate the reports.
On Jan. 18, after drinking beer with a friend, Mejia-Ramos attacked his sleeping wife with a knife from a butcher’s block after spotting a Facebook photo of her and another man when he checked her cellphone.