By Christina Santucci
Authorities believe a Jamaica man kissed his young daughters and asked for forgiveness before he killed them, the Queens district attorney said.
Miguel Mejia-Ramos, who was awaiting extradition Wednesday to New York from Texas, was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Deisy Garcia, 21, and the couple’s toddlers, Daniela Meija, 2, and Yoselin Meija, 1, in the second-floor flat on Sutphin Boulevard near 90th Avenue, the DA said.
Mejia-Ramos had being going through his spouse’s phone and Facebook account after a night of drinking Saturday and spotted a photo of Garcia with another man, the DA’s office said. That’s when investigators believe he snapped.
The 29-year-old father then allegedly confessed to grabbing a knife from a butcher block, standing over his wife and daughters, who were sleeping, and stabbing Garcia repeatedly with two knives as she tried to escape before going back for his daughters, the DA said.
Mejia-Ramos then hugged and kissed each girl, asked for forgiveness, and allegedly fatally stabbed them, according to the district attorney’s office.
Their bodies were discovered by Garcia’s 12-year-old cousin and other relatives Sunday evening in the Jamaica apartment the extended family shared, relatives said.
“I don’t know what happened if the husband killed the kids,” Garcia’s uncle Romeo Chuc said Monday morning. “I cannot understand what happened.”
Chuc said he arrived home around 5 p.m. Sunday with his 12-year-old and 10-year-old sons, and the door to the room that Garcia shared with her husband and the toddlers was closed.
“My son said, ‘Why do the babies not come and play in the living room?’” Chuc said, explaining that he thought the children were probably sleeping. “After that my baby says, ‘I have to go inside. I have to check what happened, why the babies not come out.’”
Chuc said when his older son, Rene, opened the door around 7 p.m., he spotted the two toddlers on the floor with their faces covered by a blanket. Garcia was also on the floor with what relatives believe was a new kitchen knife by her side, said Chuc’s wife Sara Alvarado, Garcia’s aunt.
Investigators recovered four knives with what appeared to be blood on them at the scene, the DA said.
Authorities named Mejia-Ramos as a suspect Monday and released information about two vehicles he was known to drive to the U.S. Marshals Service, which then distributed the vehicles’ description to Texas police. Authorities had been on the lookout in Texas because of the state’s close proximity to Mexico, where Mejia-Ramos was born, and the Queens DA’s office believes he was headed for the border.
Through the investigation, Mejia-Ramos was nabbed in Schulenburg, Texas, which is about 250 miles from the U.S. border with Mexico, police said.
Officials said that after one of the vehicles was spotted in Texas about halfway between Houston and San Antonio, a traffic stop was set up and he was taken into custody without incident. A spokesman for the Fayette County sheriff’s office said Mejia-Ramos was arraigned and held without bail Tuesday, and that he had lacerations to his upper torso when he was arrested.
The Queens district attorney’s office expected Mejia-Ramos to be arraigned on murder and criminal possession of a weapon charges in New York Friday, and a wake for Garcia and the children was scheduled for Thursday evening at her church, Iglesia Naciones Unidas en Cristo in Jamaica.
Relatives said Garcia, who was originally from Guatemala, was studying English at York College and described her as a good mother.
“She was a good person. She was a Christian. She went to church,” Alvarado said in Spanish through a man who translated for her. “She cares for her two daughters.”
Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 718-260-4589.