A Corpus Christi woman and her daughter were found safe Thursday after police say they were allegedly kidnapped earlier in the week.
Corpus Christi police, assisted by the FBI and a U.S. Marshals task force, conducted an operation at the 6400 block of Weber Road around 8:50 a.m. Thursday.
There, authorities were able to successfully apprehend 24-year-old Kristian Garcia and safely recover Jezabel and Zaylee Zamora, interim police Chief David Blackmon said during a news conference.
Jezabel Zamora, 18, and Zaylee, her 1-year-old daughter, were forced to leave their Corpus Christi home Tuesday by a kidnapper and had been the subjects of a statewide Amber Alert.
According to police, the young mother and daughter were recovered without any injuries.
Kristian Garcia was arrested on one count of murder from an existing case, aggravated robbery, and two counts of kidnapping.
It is still not clear yet how Kristian Garcia is connected to the murder of Emily Walthers.
Walthers, 32, was found dead in a man’s home on the 4800 block of South Alameda Street on May 26, 2021.
The man who reported her body said he hadn’t been home for several weeks, and when he returned he found Walthers’ body in his bed.
Rodrick Garcia, 26, was also arrested Wednesday around 2 pm on the 5100 block of Flynn Parkway as an alleged accomplice in the kidnapping.
His arrest came just minutes after Corpus Christi police announced it had issued an arrest warrant in connection with the kidnapping.
Corpus Christi police Lt. Michael Pena told the Caller-Times police withheld news of Rodrick Garcia’s arrest earlier, fearing its release might impede the investigation into the whereabouts of Kristian Garcia and the Zamoras.
Rodrick Garcia had two additional outstanding warrants for possession of controlled substances prior to his arrest Wednesday.
The connection between Kristian Garcia and Rodrick Garcia is still not clear; according to police, the two are not related.
Police declined to give any more details.
Blackmon said police would continue to work this case and plans to come forward with further charges soon.
Kailey E. Hunt covers breaking news and public safety in South Texas. Help support more local coverage with a subscription at caller.com/subscribe.