There has been a big break in a murder case involving a 3-year-old foster child in Bakersfield. 17 News has learned a Bakersfield couple accused of killing their adopted niece has been arrested in Mexico.
Police said Serenity Gandara's foster parents fled to Mexico with their three children after the three year old was found dead in July of 2010. Murder warrants were issued and 17 News has learned the couple is now behind bars.
Gandara was found dead inside the home of Carla and Alberto Garcia, her aunt and uncle who were also her foster parents. Police believed the couple fled to Mexico with their children after the girl was killed.
Gandara's grandmother, Renee Maese told 17 News the Garcias have been caught in Mexico and authorites are working to extradite them back to California.
Maese sat down with 17 News last July on the anniversary of the little girl's death. She said it was her worst nightmare knowing who did it and not being able to bring them to justice. Maese said she never gave up hope.
"I'm ecstatic. I'm happy. Life right now is so like, I'm overwhelmed. They got them. They got them. It's been a whole year and I've been praying, I've been hoping this would come to an end where we can get peace for Serenity and we got it. We got it. I never gave up hope and I just thank the man upstairs for bringing them back.," said Renee Maese, Gandara's Grandmother.
In July of 2010, Gandara was laid to rest inside a tiny coffin adorned with pink and white flowers. Photos of the smiling toddler showed a happy child. Her family called her princess.
The coroner said the girl died from blunt force injuries. Maese told 17 News she reported her suspicions of abuse to Child Protective Services, but case workers did nothing.