Suspect now charged with murder after coroner identifies bodies of missing Toledo teens

Two people arrested in the disappearance of two teens appear in Lucas Co. Court
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 1:02 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A suspect has now been charged with murder after a Lucas County Coroner identified the bodies of missing Toledo teens on Friday.

Charges against Cruz Garcia, who was originally accused of assaulting the teens with a gun, tying them up, and putting them into a vehicle, have now been upgraded to two counts of murder. Garcia will be arraigned on Dec. 19.

Garcia was arrested on Dec. 15, along with Diamond Rivera. Rivera allegedly gave a false alibi in the kidnapping and is charged with obstruction of justice.

Garcia and Rivera both appeared in court on the morning of Dec. 16. Rivera was released on her own recognizance. A preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 5.

Toledo Fire and Rescue held a press conference around the same time as the court appearances, detailing what happened in the early morning hours of Dec. 5 when they were putting out a fire on Chase Street where the two bodies would be found ten days later.

Fire Chief Allison Armstrong said a firefighter was injured trying to extinguish the blaze, prompting the incident commander to focus on putting out the fire from the outside.

“The intention was to go back to that area after the fire was extinguished to make sure the area was checked, but unfortunately they did not have that ability,” Armstrong said.

16-year-old Ke’Marion Wilder and 15-year-old Kyshawn Pittman were last seen on Dec. 3 leaving a party at Maumee Bay Lodge.

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