Press conference

Law enforcement has confirmed the identities of the victims and suspect in an alleged double murder in the Baileyton area on Saturday.

At a press conference Tuesday, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said brothers Alvaro Garcia (age 3) and Taylor Garcia (age 9) died following injuries they sustained in an attack. A knife was recovered at the scene.

The identities of the victims were first released by Cullman County Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick.

Charged with murder is the children’s mother, 32 year-old Sara Franco Tapia. Tapia, who was found in a grassy field near the residence where the incident occurred shortly after it was first reported, is currently in intensive care at a North Alabama hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Gentry said Tapia already has been charged with two counts of murder, and that she will be booked into the Cullman County Detention Center, with his recommendation of no bond, once she recovers and is released into the custody of the sheriff’s office.

Sara Franco Tapia

Sara Franco Tapia

Gentry said there are other surviving siblings in the family, and that law enforcement quickly ruled out the father, who lives with the family at the residence, as a suspect. The initial emergency call on Sunday originated with the father, Gentry confirmed.

Though they are stationed at the hospital and monitoring Tapia “24 hours a day,” said Gentry, sheriff’s investigators and deputies have had only limited verbal contact with the suspect as she recovers from what investigators believe are self-inflicted wounds. “There is a language barrier,” he added, that likely will prevent investigators from questioning Tapia fully until she arrives at the detention center and can be subjected to a formal interrogation.

The family rents a home in the Baileyton community along County Road 1718, the north-south county road that connects Baileyton and Holly Pond. Law enforcement said Tuesday that they had been living in the community for “several years.”

Law enforcement declined to provide details regarding the nature of the victims’ fatal injuries, and would not speculate on a motive, out of respect for the victims and their survivors. Gentry did note that the early investigation does not appear to connect the suspect’s alleged actions to any sort of mental health issue.

Gentry also declined to elaborate on either parent’s occupation or role in the community. “One of the things I think we ought to do is honor their memory at this time,” he said.

“…Those children are living through something that is horrific, and that we would not wish upon our worst enemy.”

Video by cullmandaily.com

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