Woman arrested in connection with toddler's death in foster care

Woman arrested in connection with toddler's death in foster care
Fabian Garcia was 3 when he died in foster care. His mother suspects he was abused. (Image: Family)
Fabian Garcia was 3 when he died in foster care. His mother suspects he was abused. (Image: Family)

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than a year after a 3-year-old Big Island boy died in foster care, police have arrested a woman in connection with his death.

Chasity Alcosiba, 44, of Honokaa, was arrested on second-degree murder charges Wednesday.

She was subsequently released without being charged.

Big Island police said two forensic pathologists determined little Fabian Garcia died last year from non-accidental head trauma.

"Due to these results, a murder investigation was initiated," police said, in a news release.

Garcia was placed in foster care in 2016, and his mother said it wasn't long before she spotted signs of mistreatment.

She told Hawaii News Now earlier this year that the last time she visited her son, he screamed when it was time to say goodbye.

In a statement released by attorney Jeffrey Foster, parents Sherri-Ann Garett and Juben Garcia said the arrest confirmed "our suspicions and worst fears."

"There are no words that can describe the way we feel today," the parents said. "We are hopeful that criminal charges against Fabian's killer will be filed promptly and pursued vigorously by the prosecutor's office."

The statement adds:

"We also hope that Fabian's murder will result in long-overdue changes to the way the state of Hawaii responds to complaints of child abuse against children in the state's custody. We do not want any other family to have to endure the daily nightmare that we will be living through for the rest of our lives."

The state Department of Human Services did not answer a series of questions from Hawaii News Now about the case.

But in a statement, DHS said that Alcosiba has not been caring for foster youth since July 2017, when Garcia died.

The department also said it "intervenes in cases where children's safety and well-being are at risk or threatened" and that if a caregiver is ever accused of abuse, the state investigates.

"At the time of the allegation and throughout the investigation, we remove any children still in their care and place them with another resource caregiver," the department said, in its statement.

"Generally, we cannot provide any confirmation of a family's involvement in CWS (Child Welfare Services). ... We also do not want to impede on any ongoing criminal investigation. We will continue to provide information to the public as we are able. For now, we want to assure the public that the above outlined policies were followed."

This story will be updated.

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