NEW YORK CITY (WABC/WCBS/NY1/Univision/CNN) - It was a horrific scene. Deisy Garcia, 21, and her two young daughters were found stabbed to death in their apartment, allegedly at the hands of her husband.
Now, there's information that not speaking English may have been the Guatemalan immigrant's death sentence. Garcia filed a police report in May of 2013, saying her husband had assaulted her and that she feared for her life. That report sat untranslated - and without followup - until her death.
"She was crying so she called the police and told them that her husband had threatened to kill her," said Sara Alvarado, the victim's sister.
The May incident wasn't the only one Garcia reported. On Nov. 27, she again called police and filed a Spanish-language complaint: "My husband assaulted me. He pulled my hair and kicked me twice. He threatened to take my kids away."
The NYPD hasn't said whether that report was translated.
Two months later, Garcia and her daughters were found dead.
"If they would have given it more importance, would have translated it to English, then maybe they (cops) would have figured out what to do," Luzmina Alvarado, the victim's mother, said. "They would have investigated him. It was like they just left the report there as if it were worthless."
Authorities say Garcia's husband, Miguel Mejia Ramos, confessed to killing his wife in a fit of jealous rage. He said he then hugged and kissed his daughters, asked for their forgiveness and stabbed each girl multiple times.
"I guess no investigation was done to the point where they could've determined that this person had to be arrested, but what we didn't know was that no one actually translated the text," Roger Asmar, the family's attorney, said.
Garcia's family believes that she and her daughters would still be alive if the police had taken action.
"My daughter may be dead and can't do anything in this case, but I want justice," Luzmina Alvarado said.
After an internal review, police said a memo will be sent to all officers reminding them that all domestic violence reports must be translated to English.
The department also says it is looking into software that would translate the text automatically, but Garcia's family says it may just be too little too late.
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