Another Stunning Murder in Davis

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murderPolice were called out to an apartment complex on Pocket Road in Sacramento after Aquelin Talamantes, 29, of Davis, was seen with a 4-year-old boy, but not her 5-year-old daughter, Tatianna Garcia.

When police arrived they found the 4-year-old boy unharmed, but Tatianna was discovered in the trunk.  After officers attempted to resuscitate the girl, she would be pronounced dead a short time later at the hospital.

According to Davis Assistant Police Chief Darren Pytel, around 9 am on Thursday a Davis police officer was working traffic in the area of Glide Dr., due to complaints about vehicles driving at excessive rates of speed within blocks of Pioneer Elementary school.

The officer would made a traffic stop of Ms. Talamantes, but released the driver.  The officer stopped in front of the mother’s home to continue working traffic. The mother came outside and asked the officer several questions about why the officer was there.

The behavior of the mother prompted the officer to call for another officer to come out so they could do a welfare check at the home. According to Assistant Police Chief Pytel, the officer was aware at that time that there was a small child there.

The officers would speak to the mother and another adult relative for about 30 to 40 minutes.  At that time, they determined that there was no sign of abuse or neglect, and they determined the home to be clean.

The officers observed the children laughing and they appeared to be cared for.  The officers would discuss resources for the family, but then left.

The police would then receive a call several hours later from an adult relative.  She arrived at the house after being gone for some time. The 5-year-old victim was not seen. The mother then left the house with the 4-year-old.  That prompted a search.

The mother arrived at the Pocket Road address of another adult relative, and Sacramento Police were called to the scene.

Ms. Talamantes has been arrested and is in custody at Yolo County Jail.  The investigation is ongoing.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Ms. Talamantes has only had one minor brush with the law on her record.  In 2007, “she was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor disorderly conduct while under the influence of a drug in Solano County; the outcome of that case was not immediately clear Friday.”

She also has a traffic violation in Yolo County.

At this point, what happened is unclear.  According to Darren Pytel, the Sacramento Police Department began the investigation and, for continuity’s sake, they continued with the investigation.

However, it is believed that the crime began in Davis.

“This is a truly sad, tragic event,” Assistant Chief Pytel said. “It will take some time to complete the entire investigation and get more firm details into everything that led up to this and why it happened.”

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has not determined a cause of death, pending autopsy results.

Ms. Talamantes will be arraigned on Monday at 1:30 at the Yolo County Courthouse.

The Davis Joint Unified School District sent out a notice to the community on Friday.

Jen McNeil, the district’s Prevention and Crisis Manager, wrote to parents, “We are deeply saddened and shocked by the news reported yesterday evening that a 5 year old female child died after being found non-responsive in the trunk of a car in Sacramento, CA.  The media released the name of a parent and reported that the family lives in Davis near one of our elementary schools.”

“This is very distressing news.  However, we want to advise our parent and staff community that it has been confirmed that the child was not connected to any of our schools and that the family was new to Davis,” she wrote.  “As a precaution, staff at the closest elementary school was notified of the incident early this morning and the crisis response team convened at the site.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to inform our community about our crisis response plan as it relates to traumatic death.  Each school site has a crisis response team composed of administrators, lead teachers, campus security, school mental health professionals, and administrative support personnel.  Certain District Office staff participates on every school crisis response team,” she continued.

She added, “In the event of a traumatic death the team will convene and set forth enacting our response plan and protocols, which are based upon current and best practices in the field of crisis response.  Our protocols involve specific and purposeful methods of disseminating information depending upon the nature of the incident and the age group of those included.  We have planned emotional support strategies for staff, parents and students.   We have guidelines and protocols to enable us to provide structure and support while returning to the regular school routine.”

After a long period without homicides, this is at least the fourth murder that has occurred in Davis in the last two years.  In November of 2011, James Mings was involved in the killing of Kevin Seery.

More recently and relatively close in location, Daniel Marsh is alleged to have killed Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin on Cowell Blvd.

Mr. Mings was convicted of attempted murder and will have a secondary trial in a few weeks.  Mr. Marsh faces trial right now this fall, as well, after being held to answer following a preliminary hearing a few weeks ago.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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32 thoughts on “Another Stunning Murder in Davis”

  1. David M. Greenwald

    We don’t have a lot of facts yet, but any time a mother kills a kid (if she indeed did), you have to look to mental health issues and possibly substance abuse. You call this blaming others beside the killer, I call it trying to figure out what happened and how we can prevent it in the future.

  2. medwoman

    I would like to make a separate point regarding the coverage of this murder as opposed to the previous choices made in covering the Garzon and Marsh cases.

    Both the Vanguard and The Enterprise covered this story with relevant available information and restraint in the pictures posted. Identification of the potentially accused was made ( verbally and pictorially ) as is clearly warranted for public information without grandstanding or theatrics. I would like to compliment both the Vanguard and The Enterprise for the information and the restraint which was demonstrated in what is sure to be a highly emotional story as it unfolds and would encourage both to continue with the present tone.

  3. David M. Greenwald

    “How do we even know this was a murder?”

    I personally don’t. The police have arrested the individual and believe that the death is suspicious in nature. The coroner has not finished their investigation and so officially it’s not a murder.

  4. SouthofDavis

    Growth Izzue wrote:

    > I can’t wait to see who or what Davis liberals
    > blame for this murder besides the murderer.

    I have noticed that “mental health issues” seem to come up more and more often when someone kills their kids (or a spouse or an older couple in the neighborhood).

    I think it is fair to say that (throughout history) anyone that kills a kid, their spouse or an elderly neighbor is not in a great mental state, but while today it seems like everyone seems to get a pass and former Governor Regan (or some other third party) gets the “blame” since they “didn’t get the help they needed”.

    I have a feeling if we have a lady who drives her kids in to a lake, A Heisman trophy winner kills his wife or a skin head stabs an elderly Jewish family down the street next week the main spin of every article would be “we didn’t spend enough to help them with their mental health issues”…

    P.S. I wonder if Woodland gang members will stay out of South Davis since they don’t want to go in to a “hood” with so many murders…

  5. medwoman

    SouthofDavis

    [quote]I have a feeling if we have a lady who drives her kids in to a lake, A Heisman trophy winner kills his wife or a skin head stabs an elderly Jewish family down the street next week the main spin of every article would be “we didn’t spend enough to help them with their mental health issues”…
    [/quote]

    I am not sure how you are arriving at this conclusion. I can remember a lot of conversation and press coverage around the underlying factors contributing to the woman who drove her kids into the lake and what observations or interventions might have been preventative. Likewise, when there is a blatantly race or religion based crime, much of the coverage and conversation seem to involve root causes and how these kinds of emotion driven crimes be it hate or desperation or mental illness can be prevented.

    Former Heisman trophy winners ? Well, that turned into a no holds barred circus, so I don’t actually see it as relevant to the overall discussion of how best to spot potential problems and prevent violent acts.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    “I think it is fair to say that (throughout history) anyone that kills a kid, their spouse or an elderly neighbor is not in a great mental state, but while today it seems like everyone seems to get a pass”

    In what sense would you say they get a pass? If anything I suspect they get far less of a pass now with mandatory sentencing than ever before – despite our far greater understanding of mental illness.

    For me at least, punishment is not the only way we can deal with this and I’d like to think with proper analysis, we can look at ways to prevent this. After all, no matter what we do now, a precious young life is gone – how do we stop the next one. Somehow don’t thing some barbaric punishment is the answer.

  7. medwoman

    David

    [quote]Somehow don’t thing some barbaric punishment is the answer.[/quote]

    I will take my agreement with you one step further. i don’t think that any form of “punishment” is the answer.
    Appropriate safety measures to prevent future harm to other individuals ? Certainly.
    “Punishment” I see as of no value at all.

  8. B. Nice

    “I have noticed that “mental health issues” seem to come up more and more often when someone kills their kids (or a spouse or an older couple in the neighborhood). “

    Maybe that’s because most people without “mental health issues” don’t kill their 5 year old children.

  9. B. Nice

    “After all, no matter what we do now, a precious young life is gone – how do we stop the next one.”

    This is why we need to determine wether mental issues played a part in this child’s death. So we can help people with similar issues before something horrific happens.

  10. SouthofDavis

    B. Nice wrote:

    > Maybe that’s because most people without “mental
    > health issues” don’t kill their 5 year old children.

    The question is was it a treatable “mental health issue” (e.g. treating a bi-polar individual with lithium) or was it a “bad person doing a bad thing” (I wonder if the guy that beat the Dodger fan to death last week in SF would not done it if he had treatment for his “mental health” issue of hating the Dodgers?)…

    > This is why we need to determine wether mental
    > issues played a part in this child’s death. So we
    > can help people with similar issues before something
    > horrific happens.

    Do you think we should make all single mom’s take classes telling them not to drive their kids in to a lake if they meet a new guy that does not want kids or make all married guys take a class telling them that if their wife starts sleeping with the manager of a local restaurant they should not stab both of them?

  11. David M. Greenwald

    Hating the Dodgers is not the kind of mental health issue we’re talking about here.

    “Do you think we should make all single mom’s take classes telling them not to drive their kids in to a lake if they meet a new guy that does not want kids “

    No.

  12. B. Nice

    SOD, if a mother is able to kill her child there is more then likely some mental health issues involved. Are you suggesting that the only help we can give mothers, and thus their families, is a class telling them not to kill their kids? I think we could probably come up with more effective treatment methods to prevent these tragedies and ones the happen much more often on a smaller, but still, significant scale.

  13. SouthofDavis

    Question for David, B. Nice, medwoman (and anyone else that wants to make a guess):

    Want to guess the percentage of killers have treatable “mental illness” compared to the percentage of “bad people”?

    It seems to me that as a kid it was about 25% “mental illness” vs. today where 75% plus seem to have someone saying “the poor killer just needed help for his or her illness”…

  14. B. Nice

    “It seems to me that as a kid it was about 25% “mental illness” vs. today where 75% plus seem to have someone saying “the poor killer just needed help for his or her illness”…”

    A more accurate description of my thoughts is, “the poor victim, if the killer had gotten help maybe they would still be alive, what can we do to prevent future tragedies like this one.” Just punishing the “killer” does nothing to address this.

    1. hpierce

      Isolation from society, first. My understanding is that some mental illness issues can’t be ‘treated’ (as in “cured”, or ‘under control’ without forced medication, without which the ‘patient’ can discontinue).

  15. medwoman

    SouthofDavis

    [quote]Want to guess the percentage of killers have treatable “mental illness” compared to the percentage of “bad people”?
    [/quote]

    I think there are two important correlated questions.

    First, what are we using as a standard definition for mental illness?
    As medical science advances and imaging becomes able to inform us more about aberrant brain functioning, I suspect that there will be more and more conditions identified that are treatable which perhaps are not even recognized as “illness” today. To put forth the belief that somehow a standard that you believe was better when you were younger is first pure speculation unless you have numbers to back it up, and worse yet, denies the benefit of medical progress. This would be equivalent to maintaining that people with epilepsy are possessed by demons because that was the belief prior to identification of aberrant electrical impulses in the brain.

    Second, who gets to make the determination of who has an illness vs who is evil or a “bad person” ?
    Should this determination be made by a doctor, by a cleric, by a lay person ? Who are you suggesting should be the final arbiter ?

  16. jrberg

    [quote]As medical science advances and imaging becomes able to inform us more about aberrant brain functioning, I suspect that there will be more and more conditions identified that are treatable which perhaps are not even recognized as “illness” today.[/quote]

    Tia, would you be willing to have an offline discussion about this? I have many questions about exactly this kind of imaging and how it would be relevant to a relative of mine. I can be reached at k6jrb davis gmail.com. Thanks.

  17. jrberg

    OK, the site’s formatting software stripped out all of the dot’s and at’s. I have to say that David’s choice of blog software is pretty pathetic. But maybe that’s just me…..

  18. medwoman

    jrberg

    I would be happy to talk with you. I fear however that this would be a very short conversation since this is so far from my area of expertise. I have only read a couple of abstracts regarding MRI imaging showing enhanced activity in focal areas of the brain in conjunction with different emotional states. This is all in its infancy and although I could be wrong, I doubt it would have any real world significance for any individual outside a research setting at this point in time.

    my email address if you are interested is
    tia.will52@gmail.com

  19. Ginger

    SOD [quote]Want to guess the percentage of killers have treatable “mental illness” compared to the percentage of “bad people”? [/quote] It makes people feel safer in their own homes and lives to think that [i]if only[/i] society had done its job, this horrible act wouldn’t have happened. All we have to do is rearrange some social programs over here, and spend more money over there, blame greedy capitalists/insurance companies/Republicans/BigPharm/etc. for their role in preventing this for happening, and it’s all wrapped up nicely.

    Except I notice that in the instance of some crimes, we don’t lament how society failed the perpetrator…instead we see the crime used to point the finger at large swaths of society to illustrate how racist/mysoginst/backwards/hateful they are. By an odd twist of fate, this is often used to score political points against those same greedy capitalists/insurance companies/Republicans/BigPharm/etc.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    “It makes people feel safer in their own homes and lives to think that if only society had done its job, this horrible act wouldn’t have happened. “

    I don’t know that this is true. I think the last twenty years have shown us how not to run a justice system and we need to get back to focus on prevention and rehabilitation. Our recidivism rate is 70%, we are doing something wrong.

  21. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > I don’t know that this is true. I think the last twenty
    > years have shown us how not to run a justice system and
    > we need to get back to focus on prevention and rehabilitation.
    > Our recidivism rate is 70%, we are doing something wrong.

    Many would say the only thing we are “doing wrong” is letting bad people out to molest some more kids or kill more people before we arrest them again.

    I’m not a psychologist but I know plenty of people with PhDs who have spent years working with killers, child molesters and wife beaters that have come to the conclusion that “most” can’t be “rehabilitated”…

  22. Anonymous Pundit

    Murder? Based on what?
    The only thing that can be discerned at this point is that another child is dead because of the malice of the court system. Which idiot in the system gave custody to this woman? That’s the person that should be on trial for wrongful death. Where is Jeff Reisig??? And the County should be sued for destroying lives. Where is the ACLU???

  23. medwoman

    SouthofDavis

    [quote]I’m not a psychologist but I know plenty of people with PhDs who have spent years working with killers, child molesters and wife beaters that have come to the conclusion that “most” can’t be “rehabilitated”…
    [/quote]

    The devil is in the details with that word “most”. As the partner of a psychologist with expertise in our prison system, I can tell you that this view is not universally held.
    Also, just because we cannot identify and or treat a condition now, does not mean that we will not be able to in the future. However, we will not be able to make progress in any area in which we are not willing to keep an open mind about future prospects. I will use my previous example again. We would not have anti epileptic medications today if we had chosen to stick with the paradigm that all or even “most” epileptics were possessed by demons.

    Ginger expressed an opinion about how people feel safer in their own homes and lives to think that if only society had done its job, this horrible act wouldn’t have happened. I think that there is some validity in this.
    And I also think that people tend to feel safer in their own homes and lives if they believe that people who commit atrocious acts are somehow fundamentally different from us and that we would be incapable of such evil. This is most completely achieved when we label the perpetrator of a terrible crime as subhuman or a monster, completely ignoring the fact that human history is replete with horrendous acts by both individuals and societies. I think that the surest way to act to prevent such atrocities be they on the individual or societal level would be to consistently act with compassion, dehumanize no one, and act to contain dangerous individuals, but to universally condemn revenge and punishment which serve no purpose but to promote more violence.

  24. marabjones

    [quote]I will take my agreement with you one step further. i don’t think that any form of “punishment” is the answer.
    Appropriate safety measures to prevent future harm to other individuals ? Certainly.
    “Punishment” I see as of no value at all.[/quote]

    @Medwoman….Did you just seriously say that “punishment has no value?”
    Really?? and David, you agree? So, let me get this pefectly straight; People can committ crimes, kids can do bad things/misbehave and we should not punish them because it has no value? So…what in the world do we have law for? What is the whole point of a justice system? If this would be allowed, we would running free rein, obeying no one..killing, selling drugs, robbing, beating our children, gang members..etc.. even more so than people are doing now? Why they do it really is only one part of it but the laws were put in place so we can live in a country where we should be able to feel safety. Why do we pay law enforcement? Going deeper, what did God say about discipline? If we fail to discipline, we fail to show our love, pure and simple! Mercy is one thing, and I do believe in the redemption of others but this in no way means I feel they should walk away from the responsibility of the crime/crimes. It is called, “personal accountability,” maybe if all took accountability for their sin, we might have a fighting chance of a different society.

    In mental health cases, especially in children, we have a whole lot more to consider but there must be punishment, none the same. If not, we send out a sad message to society; be it adults or children. It is up to the judge and doctors to assess and sentence accordingly. In some mental health cases we have already covered, the county made error…but the willingness to work on changing for the better can and will redeem such. As for the defense of these patients/defendants, bless them for working hard to get the court to consider all evidentuary facts, be it mental records or other, on their behalf. I am happy to say, some have been the victor…amen!

    [quote]Murder? Based on what?
    The only thing that can be discerned at this point is that another child is dead because of the malice of the court system. Which idiot in the system gave custody to this woman? That’s the person that should be on trial for wrongful death. Where is Jeff Reisig??? And the County should be sued for destroying lives. Where is the ACLU?

    I am inclined to agree some, pundit…unfortunately our system returns these children in the homes of some pretty bad people….sadly. As for the charge of murder…it is yet to behold….so much more to this story than we know right now.

  25. marabjones

    Here is an article I found on Biblical discipline:

    When we hear the word discipline, we often picture spankings, being told to stand in the corner, or punishment by the withdrawal of some favorite activity. Yet the New World Dictionary, 2nd edition lists “treatment that corrects or punishes” as fifth in its definitions of discipline. If we look at discipline from a biblical perspective, the words disciple and discipleship come to mind. Picture Jesus and His twelve devoted followers or disciples. This helps us to approach biblical discipline from a more positive stance. Jesus’ disciples were dedicated to modeling His ways and learning from Him. As parents, we are dedicated to developing our children into all God intends for them to be. What does the Bible say about discipline of children when they are infants? Before children are born, parents invest time and money in classes and books in hopes of preparing for their blessed event. Upon arrival those joyful parents are faced with the realization that while babies are a bundle of joy, they are also a bundle of needs. As infants vocalize those needs we remind ourselves, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him” (Psalms 127:3). As God’s gift, He has entrusted us to help these little ones develop and to fulfill His plans for them. If we really love our children we need to discipline them early and consistently. In the Scriptures, Paul refers to Timothy’s discipline and training by his mother and grandmother. “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from who you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15). Early discipline will begin to develop a character that reflects self-control. Then when children are old enough to crawl they learn to immediately stop whatever they are doing when told “No!” Just as Jesus’ disciples looked up to Him for every word, these tiny ones look up to their parents as their Provider. Fortunately when the Lord gives us a task, He always provides guidance in how He would like it performed – using Jesus as our model. What does the Bible say about discipline of children when they are young? The struggle for a child’s heart begins at an early age. When parents fail to establish themselves as authority figures in their young child’s life, they encourage rebellion as that preschooler grows older. Children can be very manipulative and appeal to a mother’s gentle and tender nature. We are reminded that “the rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). We must never avoid the momentary unpleasantness of discipline. The wise parent expresses both discipline and affection with equal promptness and measure. “. . .My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves. . .” (Hebrews 12:5-6). The happiest and most secure children are those whose parents work as a loving team to nurture and direct their children in appropriate biblical conduct. What does the Bible say about discipline of children and obedience? Whether children are natural, adopted, step, or foster, they are all familiar with the consequences of disobedience. God was very decisive in dealing with Israel’s obedience and disobedience throughout the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 28 speaks in detail of blessings and curses that result from choices. Our children must learn that God disciplines us in order to lead us, correct us, teach us, and train us to be righteous. Biblical discipline is what enables our children to keep God as their guiding force in all their thoughts, attitudes, and even play. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. . .that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1, 3).

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