Sunday, November 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Witness: CPS alerted before girl’s drowning death

By
From page A1 | May 18, 2014 |

WOODLAND — About a month before she allegedly drowned her daughter, Aquelin Talamantes walked into a Sacramento hospital seeking treatment for mental-health issues.

Accompanied by her two young children, Talamantes’ demeanor raised red flags among hospital staff, who in turn issued a referral to Child Protective Services.

“There was concern about her detachment from her children,” CPS social worker Carmen Mercado testified Friday in Yolo Superior Court, at the close of Talamantes’ first week of trial on murder and child-assault charges. “She was not responsive to her children.”

But attempts to make contact with Talamantes in the following days — first at the Sacramento apartment she shared with her kids, and later at a relative’s residence — were unsuccessful, said Mercado, who did not interview Talamantes until the night of Sept. 26, 2013.

By then, Talamantes was in the custody of Sacramento police, who earlier that day discovered the body of 5-year-old Tatiana Garcia in the trunk of Talamantes’ car. Authorities say Talamantes drowned her daughter in the bathtub of her sister’s Glide Drive home in Davis before transporting the body to another sister’s Pocket Road apartment complex.

At the police station, Talamantes at first appeared upset and “very vocal,” but when Mercado questioned her, “it was as if nothing was wrong,” the social worker said. “She had no problem deciphering my questions.”

Talamantes, 29, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in connection with her alleged actions, which defense attorney Sally Fredericksen stemmed from a traumatic childhood that included graphic molestation by a relative and the violent murder of her own mother when Talamantes was 11 years old.

The case’s prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens, contends Talamantes acted out of resentment for her young children — including Tatiana’s younger brother Michael, 4 — and has fabricated her symptoms of mental illness.

Other witnesses Friday included Rachel Powe, manager of the Land Park Woods apartment complex in Sacramento, where Talamantes lived with her children until early September 2013.

Powe said Talamantes demonstrated no odd behavior when she moved into the complex, but later lodged frequent complaints about other residents and refused to allow workers into her apartment for inspections. Once, Talamantes called the police “on herself,” Powe said.

Still, Talamantes’ children seemed “very happy,” said Powe, who often saw the siblings playing on the property.

“I never saw her raise her voice to them or hit them. I would assume she was a good mom,” Powe said, though she acknowledged she never interacted with Talamantes beyond their manager-tenant relationship.

Talamantes moved out of the apartment complex on Sept. 6, but Powe saw her several more times when the former tenant returned to inquire about a security deposit refund. Their last contact was on the afternoon of Sept. 26.

Powe said Talamantes again showed up to ask about her refund, which Powe said had been sent to her via mail. At that point, “she stormed out. It was very brief, very fast.”

It was about an hour later that Talamantes arrived at her sister’s apartment complex in her black Honda Accord, where police and relatives opened the trunk to discover Tatiana’s damp, lifeless body wrapped in a blanket inside a plastic trash bag.

The next day, when someone informed Powe about the discovery of Tatiana’s body in the trunk of Talamantes’ car, “my exact words were, ‘I just saw her yesterday.’ ”

Testimony in the case resumes Monday in Judge Stephen Mock’s courtroom.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Need for local foster parents grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Tactical robot decreases officer risks

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Hollywood readies its big guns for the holidays

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Couple arrested on drug, firearm possession charges

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Woman confronts suspicious follower

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Berkeley, Santa Cruz students protest fee hikes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Auction-bound student artwork stolen in downtown heist

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

    UCD awarded $100M to lead program to predict, prevent pandemic threats

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Breakfast with Santa tickets are going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Probationers, parolees graduate from Yolo transitional program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Free boot camp, yoga fundraiser this week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Enterprise observes holiday hours

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Bell-ringers still needed this holiday season

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Give blood and get a free movie ticket

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Thanksgiving feast is open to all

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Yolo Food Bank invites locals to run with the flock

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Museum announces holiday schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Stop, look and listen

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Swing your partner!

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A6

    Fairfield School enjoys a festive feast

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Right at home: gifts you can use and use up

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Dec. 10 jeans drive benefits STEAC

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Community Church history recounted in Sunday talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Open your heart

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Bob Hope interview pulled from ‘the vault’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    There’s only one way to fix this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Students barking up the wrong tree

    By Our View | From Page: A14

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

     
    Heartbroken over treatment of teacher

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

    Google, tell me. Is my son a genius?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

     
    Daryl Cagle cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A15

    Cordial political discourse: Seven years later, the thoughts resonate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    Easing the stress during college application season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

    When the computer stares back

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A16

     
    How I want to be remembered

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A16

     
    Watch out for holiday weight gain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16

    .

    Sports

    Turnovers costly as UC Davis loses Classic, 41-30

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men finish off Furman

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Upset-minded Lions bounce UCD from WWPA tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    New, old-look helmets not enough to lift UCD footballers

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Late shot sinks Aggie women

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Seniors play well in Aggie volleyball loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    With volleyball playoff berth, DHS accomplished its 2014 goal

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    Wire briefs: Kings get past depleted T-Wolves

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

     
    Don’t pass up the parking gift downtown

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13

    Doby Fleeman: Give thanks for our innovation culture

    By Doby Fleeman | From Page: A20

     
    Honey, spreads showcased at open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, November 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8