CRIME

Kearns mom charged after a teen left her house party and died

May 31, 2019, 10:38 AM
Murat Suljovic...
Murat Suljovic, from SLC, will spend the next 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to trying to help ISIS.  Photo: Getty Images

KEARNS — A Kearns woman faces charges for the death of a teenager whom police say she kicked out of a house party after drinking. The teen died of hypothermia.

Prosecutors charged Kristina Valdez, 40, with child endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and permitting intoxication in the death of 17-year-old Julian Garcia.

Garcia was missing for 18 days before his body was found in a field near 5800 West and 5600 South on February 27. His sister, the last person to see him alive on February 9, said she dropped him off at Valdez’s home for a birthday party.

Charging documents say Garcia was at Valdez’s house party, drinking and smoking marijuana with the son of Valdez and others. Police say Valdez asked Garcia to leave because of his behavior just after midnight.

According to those documents, Garcia wore only “light clothing,” not clothes appropriate for winter weather conditions.

The autopsy says Garcia died of hypothermia; he had both alcohol and pot in his system. Police say he likely passed out in the field, then snow fell and covered his body, which is why it took so long to find his body.

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Kearns mom charged after a teen left her house party and died