A Racine woman was charged after she lied to Racine Police detectives telling them that her children were missing when she had a friend pick them up.

Teresa Garcia, 39, of Racine, was charged with two counts of obstructing a police office by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday. If convicted, Garcia faces up to 1 1/2 years in prison and/or fined up to $20,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Garcia called the police at 1:02 p.m. and told them that her two children were missing. She told investigators that the school her children attend called her and told her that her 12-year-old and 8-year-old children had not been at school all day. She left them alone at 5:55 a.m. at her home in the 1300 block of Frederick Street. Another person was supposed to have picked them up to take them to school, but that never happened.

Officers with the Racine Police Department started searching for the children at about 1:24 p.m. During the investigation, detectives asked to talk to Garcia’s friend, but she gave the detectives the wrong number. When the officers talked with the friend, she told them that Garcia had talked to her at 12:46 p.m. saying that she didn’t know where her children were.

A few minutes later, Garcia asked the woman to “get the kids out of the house because if they were there by themselves she (Garcia) would go to jail,” the criminal complaint reads.

The woman picked her children up at 1:33 p.m. and she told Garcia that they were with her at the place she works.

When confronted, Garcia continued to tell the investigator that she didn’t know where her children were.

“(She allowed) officers to search her neighborhood after she spoke with (the woman) and at a minimum until 2:15 p.m. when she left to return the vehicle she was using to the owner,” according to the criminal complaint.

Racine County Court Commissioner John Bjelajac set a $500 cash bond for Garcia. A preliminary hearing has been set for 3:15 p.m. Oct. 27.

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.