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Lawmen credit community for helping find missing mother, daughter

2 arrested in connection with Tuesday abduction
24-year-old Kristian Garcia
Posted at 2:38 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 20:36:53-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi police announced they found 18-year-old Jezabel Zamora and her daughter, 1-year-old Zaylee, safe on Thursday morning.

“Oh my God, it’s a relief,” said Angelica Galbraith, Jezabel’s aunt.

“We are overwhelmed, we are overwhelmed,” said Veronica Zamora, another aunt of Jezabel’s. “She got the call and she was like, they found them and we were really excited, we were overwhelmed with emotion."

Zaylee is now home with her family.

As everything unfolded, Jezabel and Zaylee’s family learned more and more information.

“Supposedly he wanted to be with her, she didn’t want to be with him no more and that’s what led to this,” Veronica Zamora said. “He came and got her.”

Police told KRIS 6 News on Tuesday afternoon, Kristian Garcia entered their house and forced the two out.

“Apparently he walked around the house first yelling her name," Angelica said. “He was kicking the door down.”

“That’s not the first time he got in, the first time he got in was (through) the garage,” Veronica added.

CCPD said at 8:50 a.m. Thursday they were able to arrest Garcia at the Latitude Apartments, 6402 Weber Rd. They were assisted by the FBI and U.S. Marshals.

Lawmen also arrested Rodrick Garcia on Wednesday afternoon for kidnapping. He also has warrants in Victoria County for possession of a controlled substance.

”Sleepless nights, restless nights, just staying up late,” said Veronica.

“I couldn’t go home because I wasn’t able to sleep, so why was I going to go home?” Angelica said.

Law enforcement officials are crediting the community’s help with ending this manhunt.

“Diligent investigation, teamwork with federal counterparts and tips from our community ultimately led to a successful resolution to this case,” CCPD Interim Police Chief David Blackmon.

“We just want for y'all to... that we acknowledge it,” Veronica said. “We were getting food brought to us, we were getting water.”

Friends from the community were ready for support throughout the week as Jezabel's family waited for new information.

”We had people from the church come,” said Angelica. “We did our little prayer vigils here. That was awesome. And it really worked!…I mean, we were making flyers up to four o’clock in the morning."

“That’s another thing, we had people out there making flyers for us, everywhere, everywhere,” Veronica expressed. “We had people just…like I said y’all are awesome! You all deserve a big shout out, too.”

The aunts said they learned that Kristian may have had a difficult past. So, they want to advise other young women out there, starting new relationships.

“As far as the girls too that want to date or something, look into their background,” Veronica said. Check other baby mamas. We found out he had other baby mamas who said the same thing. These girls, they went through the same thing supposedly. Thank God they’re safe, thank God their kids are safe.”

“Do a background check,” Angelica added. “I know everybody laughs about that, but you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that because it might save your life later. It might save your life later. You’re better off safe than sorry.”

Kristian Garcia is being held for warrants of murder, aggravated robbery and two charges of kidnapping. Police said more charges could be coming.

UPDATE 1 p.m. 6/10/21 - An accomplice has also been arrested in connection to kidnapping or mother and daughter, according to Corpus Christi Interim Police Chief David Blackmon.

UPDATE 9:17 a.m. 6/10/21 -

The mother and daughter who were kidnapped earlier this week have been found safe and their abductor is in police custody, police said.

Police said the mother and her daughter were found at the Latitude Apartments, 6402 Weber Rd.

Recovery scene at Latitude Apartments
The recovery scene where police were able to rescue a missing mother and daughter earlier today.

Jezabel and Zaylee Zamora are safe after an Amber Alert was placed shortly after their kidnapping. Kristian Garcia is in Police custody.

They were originally abducted Tuesday afternoon from a home in the 6800 block of Windy Creek Drive.

We will update with more information as it becomes available.

ORIGINAL STORY: KRIS 6 News is learning more about the man wanted for allegedly kidnapping an 18-year-old mother and her 1-year-old daughter.

Corpus Christi police said that on Tuesday afternoon Kristian Garcia, 24, entered the house of his ex-girlfriend, Jezabel Zamora, 18, without permission and forced her and her daughter Zaylee Zamora, 1, to leave with him against their will.

Corpus Christi police said Garcia has two active warrants out for murder and aggravated robbery that occurred last month.

Police said Garcia is a suspect in a homicide that happened on May 26. That's when police were called to the Sterling Apartments, located in the 4800 block of South Alameda after a man called police after he found the body of a woman in his bed. At the time, police said it was unclear if foul play was involved and they were investigating.

On June 6, the Medical Examiner identified the woman as Emily Walthers, 32, and he ruled her death a homicide.

We reached out to the Corpus Christi Police Department who confirmed the death was being investigated as a homicide. At the time, police said they didn't have any suspects and no arrests had been made.

Meanwhile, the manhunt continues for Garcia.

If you have any information about the kidnapping, call 9-1-1. You could also submit anonymous tips by contacting Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS. If the information you provide leads to an arrest, it could earn you a cash reward.