Father of child abuse victim trying to cope - Tucson News Now

Father of child abuse victim trying to cope

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

We're hearing from the father of the baby who died of severe injuries on Thursday.

Three-month-old Izayah Garcia was hospitalized in critical condition Monday.

Tucson Police say Child Protective Services had removed the baby and his three siblings from his birth parents.

Police say Izayah was staying with a woman in a Midvale Park home where her live-in boyfriend and their two children live.

That boyfriend, 29-year-old Genaro Urbina now faces a second degree murder charge.

As police continue their investigation, the baby's family is struggling to understand how this happened.

On Friday, the last thing Izayah's family expected to be doing was holding a car wash to raise money for his burial.

Family and friends gathered to help Izayah's grief-stricken father.

"There's no words to explain what I'm feeling right now," says the father, Benito Garcia.

Garcia says he thought his children would be safe as he worked to get them back from CPS.

"I've just been doing what they tell me that I have to do. Get a job, get a place of my own and that's what I'm working on still. I'm still doing what I gotta do," Garcia says.

"He was supposed to be taken care of and he was supposed to be given back to me," Garcia says of his baby son.

Garcia says he knew something was wrong Monday night when he tried to call his children.

"Tell them good night, God bless you. I love you before they go to sleep and they weren't answering their phones," he says.

Garcia says his son had been in the hospital in critical condition for more than a day before Garcia was told.

Garcia struggles to explain how, what he calls a tough life, has become even more difficult.

He says he never left his son's side as the baby lay in an intensive care unit.

"I stayed by his side. I sang to him. I just loved him."

Garcia says the decision had to be made to remove Izayah from life-support.

"The hardest thing I ever had to do in my life. He died in his mama's arms," Garcia says through tears. "He's an angel now, looking down on me. That's my only son."

Garcia says, for now, his son's body is considered evidence.

He doesn't know when it will be released to him for burial.

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