Francisco Javier Munoz Quintero was eager to rekindle a relationship with his longtime girlfriend.
Munoz Quintero, 20, and Luisa A. Garcia Farias, 21, shared a young daughter, but had broken up last summer while living in North Dakota.
So after hitching a ride with his ex on Christmas Eve from Mabton to a Kennewick neighborhood, Munoz Quintero asked for another chance. The request was denied and he was ordered out of the car.
Instead, Munoz Quintero allegedly pulled out a pistol and fired two shots, hitting the young mother in the abdomen. He then pushed her out of the car and drove off with his toddler in the backseat, according to a witness.
“I can’t believe I just left her there to die,” Munoz Quintero said about 19 hours later after turning himself in.
Munoz Quintero claimed he panicked and went to Mabton to drop off his daughter with a relative, then returned to Kennewick, took a long nap in the car and visited a friend. He was convinced by that friend to go to the police on Christmas Day because he “was all over Facebook.”
A witness heard a female screaming and called 911 at 11:18 p.m. to report seeing a man pushing a woman into the street.
Search warrants filed by Kennewick police give some insight into what led up to the fatal shooting of Garcia Farias, and what Munoz Quintero did in the hours following.
Detective Joe Santoy has requested cellphone records to track Munoz Quintero’s communications and possibly get his GPS locations that night.
He also is seeking access to all Facebook records, including deleted postings, back to July for the victim and the suspect to “establish the climate of their relationship leading up to Luisa’s death.”
The hope is that this information might provide a possible motive for a slaying that left a 22-month-old girl without a mother and with an incarcerated father.
Munoz Quintero is charged in Benton County Superior Court with second-degree murder with a firearm. The charge includes aggravating circumstances of domestic violence and that the crime had a destructive and foreseeable impact on others.
He is scheduled for trial Feb. 16 and remains in the Benton County jail on $500,000 bail.
Garcia Farias was a native of Pasco and attended Pasco High School and New Horizons High School. She worked in security at the Richland Walmart.
The couple started dating in 2012 and most recently lived together in North Dakota, according to the search warrant affidavits. Then about four or five months ago, the two got into an argument and Garcia Farias moved with her daughter to the Tri-Cities after breaking up with Munoz Quintero.
At the time of her death, she was living in the basement of her parents’ home with her daughter and a younger sister.
I can’t believe I just left her there to die.
Francisco Munoz Quintero to police after turning himself in.
Munoz Quintero had followed her back, but didn’t have a steady address. He had been living with a relative in Mabton.
The toddler would spend time with her father, but Garcia Farias consistently told her ex she did not want to get back together, the court documents show.
At 11 a.m. Dec. 24, she drove to Sunnyside and dropped her daughter off with Munoz Quintero, who then got a ride to another relative’s home in Granger. The two then were driven to Mabton at 6 p.m., and Garcia Farias came for the girl after clocking out from work at 9 p.m.
Munoz Quintero asked for a ride to a friend’s apartment in Kennewick near North Tweedt Street and West John Day Avenue. He told Detective Santoy he kept quiet for the entire ride, but confronted her about their relationship once she turned into the 600 block of Tweedt Street.
After his request was refused, “Francisco stated he felt like he lost her completely and yelled, ‘F--- that,’” and pulled a 9 mm pistol from his waistband, documents said.
She reached for the gun to avoid being shot and that’s when it went off “twice very quickly,” Munoz Quintero claimed.
A search of Garcia Farias’ car turned up a fired bullet in the driver’s seat and another in the driver’s door, and two fired cartridge casings.
He said Garcia Farias told him not to touch her and she got out of the 2012 Nissan Sentra on her own.
However, the witness who heard a female screaming and called 911 at 11:18 p.m. reported seeing a man pushing a woman into the street.
And Munoz Quintero, in a phone call to his sister a short time later, said he had dumped his ex’s body out of the car before getting behind the wheel and leaving, court documents said.
Munoz Quintero also told his sister that “Luisa did not want to get back together with him so he shot her in the stomach,” documents said. That sister then called one of Garcia Farias’ sisters, who called police to share what she had just learned.
Garcia Farias was taken by ambulance to Trios Southridge Hospital in Kennewick, where she was pronounced dead just after midnight.
Meanwhile, on his way back to Mabton, Munoz Quintero allegedly threw the pistol and his cellphone out of the car along Interstate 82 near Prosser. After leaving his daughter with the relative in Mabton, he drove to a Kennewick apartment complex, parked Garcia Farias’ Nissan and fell asleep inside for about four hours, he told Santoy.
At 5 a.m. Dec. 25, Munoz Quintero ran to a friend’s home on West Fifth Avenue, throwing the car keys in some bushes along the way. The friend repeatedly told him to go to police, and at 6 p.m. he turned himself in to the Benton County jail on two outstanding warrants for unrelated cases.
Santoy noted in the search warrants that based on Munoz Quintero’s statements, he clearly had been accessing his Facebook account throughout the day and had seen media posts that he was wanted for Garcia Farias’ death.
Investigators later located her car. A search turned up a fired bullet in the driver’s seat and another in the driver’s door, and two fired cartridge casings, documents said.